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Collective Employment Laws in Canada

Info: 2030 words (8 pages) Law Essay
Published: 3rd Nov 2020

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The Law of Work

  1. Common law

 In the provincial jurisdiction of Ontario, Canada there exists several employee laws in which the common law is one of them. Common law in Ontario refers to the application of judicial action to the contract of employment (Csiernik, 2000). The common law is the traditional set of rules that govern the relationship between the employer and the workers. The set of rules in the common law only applies to only employees working under Ontario provisional jurisdiction. However, other workers working in Inter- provincial transportation, bank employees, telecommunications industry and other international companies are not governed under the common law (Lerners LLP, 2018). The common law for example in terms of termination provides provision of notice before hand. The length of the notice depends on factors such as age of employee, length of employment, salary and position of the company.

 The current provision on termination in the common law is inadequate. Employees in Ontario face the risk of expected or unexpected termination in their areas of work. It is because, they can sometimes make mistakes that would make them vulnerable for termination. Also, employers may become bankrupt or enterprises may make loses which would then result in laying off some of the employees (Lerners LLP, 2018). Either way, no employee in Ontario is absolutely sure on their company’s position in the future. The current provision on termination may be subjected to bias and is not equal for all employees. Besides, there is no standard set time period on length of notices which creates an imbalance on equality of workers in Ontario. Therefore, there is need for amendment into some of its provisions.

 To fix the limitations of the provisions on termination in the common law, I would propose an amendment in the provision. The issue of termination based on some factors such as age, position among others would not be considerable in my proposal. To avoid bias, workers should only be filed under certain conditions. The first condition would be that they have broken the agreement on empowerment of the company visions in which they were employed upon. The second condition would be if the employee has exhausted the days of the employment contract. Besides, upon the arrival of the decision for termination of the employee, the employer must make sure that the worker has adequate days to prepare for exit. I would propose that the common law should provide a standard notice of three months. The notice would apply to each and every worker in Ontario irrespective of the company, position or age. To enact the change, I would require to pass the bill to all stakeholders. The stakeholders that is; employer and employee representatives would view the amendments.  Upon approval, it would be passed on to the legislative assembly for approval by the members of provincial parliament. Thereafter, the amendments would then pass all the legislative stages to become a law.

 The proposed solution would be justifiable because, it would provide a way for equality to all workers in Ontario. Setting of standard notice period would allow employees get ample time to prepare their exit from a company. The workers would have enough time to look for similar or other jobs in other companies. Also, bias would be avoided due to factors such as racism, tribalism, and favoritism. The shortcomings for this proposed solution would be that the amendment would be unfair to the employers. Employers would have to withstand with employers on the journey to termination for three full months. It would be a limitation if the cause of termination severally affected a company and was valid for immediate termination.

  1. Regulatory Law

 The regulatory laws in Ontario are also referred to as labor laws. The regulatory laws are laid out under the Ontario employment law. The law comprises of The Human rights codes, the employment standards Act, Hours of work, Overtime pay, Minimum wages, Public holidays, paid vacation, pregnancy and parental leave, notice of termination and other authorized leaves of absence (Manes, 2019). The Human rights code is used to govern the relationship between employers and employees in Ontario. Neither of the parties are allowed to contract out of the provisions of the human rights code. The employment standards Act provides for the terms of employment in Ontario. The Act dictates the minimum standards that an employee must meet to qualify for a job (Manes, 2019). The other provision in the regulatory law is the hours of work. The provision dictates that the regular hours for any employee must not exceed eight hours per day. However, there are exceptions for managerial and supervisory personnel.  Workers are also provided an eating break of at least a half an hour in which they are expected to continue working for five consecutive hours. Also, 24 consecutive hours or one day is provided for rest in every week (Manes, 2019).

 The current provision for hours of work in the regulatory law is inadequate. It is because, the resting hours offered in the provision are not enough for the workers. The provision assumes that all the work is same in terms of physical and psychological application. However, it is not the case as some work are4 difficult than others. Some work require extensive muscle strain will others require less of it. Therefore, the provision for working hours is not fair to all workers in Ontario. Besides, it is a generalizing provision which does not consider variables or variations in work environments.

 The limiting situation in the provision of working hours in the regulatory law could be eliminated by proposing an amendment. The proposed solution would ensure that all the workers in Ontario are awarded enough resting hours depending on work magnitude. The current provision only provides 30 minutes of lunch break to workers in Ontario. Thirty minutes is less time considering that there is no other break in the day. Enough rest is important in development and proper functioning of the human body. Therefore, I would propose that the lunch break to be awarded one more hour so that the total time for the break would be one hour and thirty minutes. I chose that time because, literally, lunch does not begin immediately after the commencement of the break. Employees must have enough time to access their lunch centers or canteens. I would also propose for addition of another full day of rest. Addition of another day would total to 48 hours of continuous hours of rest for the workers. The proposals upon approval by the employer and worker representatives would then be written as a bill. The bill would then be forwarded to the legislature for approval or refusal. Upon approval, the bill would then become a law.

 The proposed solution is justifiable because, the human body tires very quickly. Continuous working hours with little rest would affect the personal output of the workers. Maximum output can be achieved when the workers are fresh and alert. Besides, tireless employees would not be prone to accidents or vulnerable to accidents. The one and half hour lunch break would enable the workers to have a settled digestion after ingestion. It has been biologically proven that food is digested properly if it is let to settle properly after eating. The addition of rest time would also save companies millions in terms of medical fees and compensations in case of fatigue related accidents. There are no negative consequences for the proposed solution.

  1. Collective bargaining law

 The Collective bargaining law in Ontario, Canada is a set of labor codes set to provide dispute or conflict resolution and prevention assistance to employers and trade unions (Canada, 2019). The collectively bargaining law only applies to unionized employees in the Ontario province jurisdiction. The negotiation or bargaining helps in determining or coming up with a collective agreement (Canada, 2019). The collective agreement is comprised of written privileges, rights and duties of the union, employees and the employer.  The collectively bargaining law provides five steps in which negotiation is conducted. The first step is the notice to bargain. It is the first step in which the negotiation process commences (Canada, 2019). The union or employer informs the other on the decision to begin negotiations. Besides, a notice can also be issued if a collective agreement exists between the parties. The second step is bargaining. It is the actual negotiation process. The two parties reach an agreement. A copy of the agreement is filed with the Minister of labour in accordance with the Labor relations Act, 1995(LRA). The final part is the conciliation process (Canada, 2019).

 The current provision in the collective bargaining law is inadequate because, it is time consuming. The process of coming to a collective agreement is very long which could affect the operations of a union or affected companies in case of a disagreement. Normally, a simple disagreement is supposed to end after the conciliation process. However, if an agreement is not reached, the collective bargaining process may push on to other steps. Failure of reaching in agreement in the conciliation stage results to report to the Minister of labor. The minister then would send a written notice to the employer and to the union. It is not a guarantee that the minister may reply directly or after a short period. The minister may delay for a while before issuing the written notice.

 I would propose a solution to eliminate the limiting situation in the provision. The collective bargaining law currently has many procedures that become longer when a collective agreement is not reached sooner. The long process can delay operations in a company or cause lack of wages for the employees in case of a strike. I would propose a simple method in which the collective agreement could be easily achieved. The first step of my proposal would be to inform, all parties of the negotiations. Both parties, that is the union and the employer would then agree on time and place of the negotiation. The first meeting should be comprised of at least a government representative and a conciliator. The negotiating parties would then be given at least one hour to come to an agreement. If a collective agreement is reached, then the two parties would then sign and give a copy to the government representative present. However, if no agreement is reached then, the conciliator would join the negotiations and try to find a common ground for the two parties.

 The proposed solution is justifiable because the process would reduce the time taken in employer-union negotiations. Besides, the solution would ensure that Ontario remains at the world map of global competitiveness. Competitiveness would be achieved by limiting the time that workers are not working and hence maximize on productivity. There are however, no apparent shortcomings in implementing the solution.

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