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The World of Work Now - Employment Brief
Monday, May 5, 2014

The World of Work Now Employment Brief

Canada marked its first National Day of Mourning on April 28th, dedicated to workers who have become ill, injured or killed in the workplace. Between May 4-10, Canada will also observe the North American Occupational Safety and Health Week to raise awareness of workplace health and safety.

The Ontario Ministry of Labour will conduct from April to June 2014 an employment standards enforcement blitz focusing on unpaid internships in sectors know for using unpaid interns such as marketing/public relations, software development, retail, media, film, and entertainment.

Statistics Canada: Average weekly earnings for a Canadian worker rose $3 from January to February to $925. This is an increase of 2.3 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

According to a recent Deloitte survey, there is a lack of certainty in Human Resources ability to address and respond to the challenges of today's multigenerational, borderless and technologically savvy workforce.

The Canadian Employment Mobility Landscape: A new study conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of the Canadian Employee Relocation Council (CERC) shows that on average, 46% of Canadians might take a job or work contract that would force them to move to a new location. However, 55% would not move for any circumstance. 12% Canadians have greatest willingness to move in order to gain employment. Another 34% might be persuaded to move if provided with incentives.

The government of Canada, employers and other stakeholders began a series of roundtable meetings to further develop the Labour Market Development Agreements (LMDAs) to help unemployed Canadians quickly find and return to work, and to develop a skilled labour force that meets current and emerging needs of employers.

Saskatchewan introduces new legislation governing overtime work. Employees may work overtime without pay as long as they do not work more than 40 hours a week, and the employer and employee mutually agree on the arrangement. Minimum wage in the province will also increase to $10.20 starting this fall.

Employment boom in startups in Atlantic Canada: Entrevestor reports that employment in the sector was up 43% since 2012, compared to the region's total employment growth of 0.3% during the same period.

Ontario has passed a bill to create 3 new leaves that provide more weeks of unpaid, job-protected leaves to employees with a critically ill or deceased family member.

Alberta's Labour Minister, Thomas Lukaszuk, intends to implement the recommendations of a report released by Andrew Sims, a prominent labour lawyer. The report which has been praised by Minister Lukaszuk, outlines how the provincial government could resolve disputes through arbitration rather than a strike and protect local unions by requiring international or parent unions to adhere to hourly rates.

Canadians' work-life balance lags behind that of other countries. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also revealed that the wage gap between Canadian men and women is persistent and remains above the global average in the study.

Canadian Business magazine has come out with its rankings of Canada's best jobs. Lawyers topped the magazine's list of 100 jobs, while government positions also figured prominently. The health profession also proved a hot one on this year's list. Health care manager, head nurse, and psychologist positions all ranked well.

Mediacorp Canada has released its annual list of top employers for young people. Some of the noteworthy initiatives include pairing new graduates with overseas mentors, giving interns the opportunity to meet the executive team during leadership conferences and organizing innovation competitions for students.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program: Employment minister Jason Kenney is working to tighten the rules to ensure employers "redouble" their efforts in hiring Canadians first, especially groups with high unemployment rates such as the Aboriginal community, youth, and recent immigrants.

Ontario budget rejected: the government proposed a new program for those without company pension plans. Workers will contribute up to 1.9% of their income with matching contributions from their employer.