Government seeks feedback on Employment Standards Act

'The realities of work have changed since the last time the act was comprehensively reviewed'

Government seeks feedback on Employment Standards Act

The Northwest Territories is looking for public feedback to ensure its Employment Standards Act reflects the current needs of workers. The government will summarize results from the survey and direct stakeholder engagements in a What We Heard Report. The report will then help inform potential changes to the act.

“The realities of work have changed since the last time the act was comprehensively reviewed,” said Briony Grabke, manager of Public Affairs and Communications under Northwest Territories’ Department of Education, Culture and Employment.

“A thorough review of the act is needed to ensure efficiency, understanding and compliance, as well as to ensure that the legislation is on par with the minimum standards of employment in other Canadian jurisdictions.”

In February, British Columbia announced it is expanding the workforce of its Employment Standards Branch in the next three years.

The NWT government is looking for feedback on topics such as:

  • Whether workers should be entitled to legislated paid sick leave
  • Protection of gig workers and “dependent contractors”
  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Types of job-protected leave available to employees
  • Statutory holidays and vacation pay

The Employment Standards Act applies to most employees and employers that perform work in the Northwest Territories. It does not apply to federal government employees, GNWT employees or workers in federally regulated industries such as airlines, banks and most telecommunications operations.

In November 2022, Northwest Territories rolled out its Indigenous Employment Plan (IEP) to boost Indigenous representation in the public sector.

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