Labour Media release

Media release: Changes to Canada Labour Code should prompt review of Nova Scotia’s labour standards

September 17, 2019

Last week, numerous changes to the Canada Labour Code, Part III, came into force. Part III is the part of the Code that creates minimum employment standards for federally-regulated workers. 

The changes were the result of a sweeping review of federal employment standards legislation. The Halifax Workers’ Action Centre (Halifax-WAC) participated in the consultations leading up to the amendments.

Federally-regulated employees are now entitled to: 

  • 96-hour advance notice of shift schedules,
  • 24-hour advance notice of shift changes,
  • Employee right to request flexible hours of work,
  • Continuity of employment (if an organization is sold or a contract is retendered, employment transfers from one organization to the other), and
  • New leaves, including: 5 paid days for victims of family violence; court or jury duty; up to 17 weeks of  medical leave; 5 personal days (3 paid); 5 days for traditional aboriginal practices; 5 days bereavement leave (3 paid). 

“The Halifax Workers’ Action Centre welcomes the changes, but they only apply to the few Nova Scotia workers who are federally-regulated, such as employees of banks, telecomm companies, and airlines,” said Mark Culligan, an organizer with the Halifax-WAC, “Our provincial government needs to follow the federal lead and consider making similar changes to bring our minimum employment standards up to speed with the rest of the country.” 

The Halifax-WAC has been calling for a comprehensive review of Nova Scotia’s employment standards legislation, which it believes are not adequate for the modern workplace. 

The Halifax-WAC is a not-for-profit committed to improving the lives and working conditions of low-waged and marginalized workers. It provides systemic advocacy through campaigns like the Fight for 15 and Fairness and one-on-one support for workers facing difficulty in their individual employment relationships. 

Halifax Workers’ Action Centre • (902) 221-0755 •