Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Province stepping up employment standards enforcement
The Alberta government is increasing its efforts to improve fairness in the workplace through a combination of increased education tools and enforcement regarding employment standards.
These efforts include the launch of a web page listing employers who have not paid employees properly, plus a new series of short videos outlining employment standards basics. Albertans can also now sign up online for free local workshops that provide detailed information on applying the Employment Standards Code and Regulation to everyday situations.
“We need both employers and employees to be aware of their responsibilities and rights in the workplace which in turn contributes to respectful work environments,” said Dave Hancock, Minister of Human Services. “We have now put some very accessible tools in place to educate the community about the Employment Standards Code which should contribute toreducing complaints, while creating awareness about those employers with outstanding claims.”
Most employment standards claims involve unpaid earnings where employment standards officers investigate and order those employers who are found owing to pay up. Government collects about 80 per cent of these claims eventually, but some end up as unsatisfied provincial court judgments.
The new web page includes the names of approximately 1,700 employers with a combined 3,500 unsatisfied claims for earnings totaling over $14 million. Some date back 10 years. Employers can have their names removed from the list by paying the earnings as directed.
The Alberta government is also improving access to information and educational materials about employment standards to encourage compliance with standards and to help reduce claims.
“A balance of education and enforcement is the key to reducing the number of claims. If employers are having difficulty understanding or following the rules, we can help with workshops, tool kits and materials such as the new Employment Standards Video Basics series,” Hancock added.
The video series is based on the Employment Standards Tool Kit for Employers, which was introduced in 2011. Online workshop registration lets Albertans review the list of upcoming workshops and sign up for the ones nearest them. The government has provided standard and customized workshops for over 20 years across the province.