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Workforce Trends

Only 1 in 5 Canadian employers offer "top up" payments to employees on maternity/parental leave

Only 1 in 5 Canadian employers offered "top up" or supplemental payments to employees on maternity/parental leave in 2008, according to a new Statisics Canada article ("Employer top-ups"). Key findings from the study include:  read more »

43,000 (part-time) jobs created in Canada in January 2010

Statisics Canada released its Labour Force Survery for January 2010 yesterday. The key employment stats are:

Nationally  read more »

BC Government seeking public input on ways to strengthen pension system, expand pension coverage

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The BC Government is seeking public input, through an online pension consultation paper, on ways to strenghten the pension system and expand pension coverage for the majority of workers currently without occupational pension plans.

Today's news release notes that, "At present, three in four private-sector workers are not covered by an employer-sponsored pension plan. Research indicates that many private sector workers who do not have access to employer-sponsored pension plans, or who do not have sufficient personal savings will not have adequate retirement income in the future".

For information on how to participate in the consultation process, visit this site. The final date for submissions is April 1, 2010.

Many Vancouver employers may not be ready for challenges employees will face getting to work during Winter Olympics

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

A recent survey has revealed that a significant number of Vancouver employers may not be ready for the challenges their employees will face getting to work as a result of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. According to Hewitt Associates, a global human resources firm:

Of the 123 organizations from across the country that responded to the survey, three-quarters have employees in Vancouver. Nevertheless, as of early January when the survey was conducted, only 54 per cent had created a business preparedness plan to address the challenges the influx of athletes, spectators and media will present for commuting employees.

Hewitt Associates also states that the solutions employers are including in their plans to address expected traffic issues are:  read more »

"The economic downturn and changes in the Employment Insurance benefits program "

Published in Labour and Employment Law Perspective: The CBA National Labour and Employment Law Section Newsletter (January 2010)

One of the most high profile responses by the federal government to the economic downturn that commenced in October 2008 was a series of reforms to the Employment Insurance (“EI”) benefits program that were announced as part of the 2009 federal budget.1

This article outlines the context in which the EI reforms were announced, then provides a brief overview of the reforms and concludes with a more detailed review of three of the reforms that will be of interest to the employer and self-employed communities.

The political, labour market and jurisprudence backdrop   

The EI reforms were announced in January 2009 in a highly charged federal political environment, as the opposition parties were threatening to topple the minority Conservative government if it did not take action in relation to the EI benefits program.  read more »

Unionization rate in Canada is 29.9% in 2009

Topics: - Workforce Trends

The federal government has released its report for 2009 on international, national, and other labour organizations as well as independent unions consisting of a bargaining unit with 50 or more members in Canada.

This year's report reveals that the unionizaztion rate (also known as union density) in Canada in 2009 was 29.9% (union membership as a percentage of non-agricultural paid employment).

This represents a slight decline from the 2008 numbers which showed a unionization rate of of 30.4% and keeps with the trend: the unionization rate has been generally dropping year over year for at least the last 10 years.

There were nine unions in Canada in 2009 with more than 100,000 members. The largest was the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), with 570,000 members. The others were:  read more »

More on the end of mandatory retirement in Canada

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal - Manitoba

In August 2009 I wrote a post entitled, "Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision may signal death knell for mandatory retirment in federal sector." The decision in question was Vilven v. Air Canada, 2009 CHRT 24, which is now the subject of a judicial review application by the Air Canada Pilots Association to the Federal Court.

For more on the topic of the status of mandatory retirement in Canada you can read a bulletin that Fasken Martineau issued today entitled "Mandatory Retirement Being Retired Across Canada".

How many jobs have been created as a result of Vancouver hosting the 2010 Olympic Winter Games?

Topics: - Workforce Trends
Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

Curious about how many jobs have been created in BC and Canada as a result of Vancouver hosting the 2010 Olympic Winter Games?

This September 2009 report (The Games effect) prepared by accounting firm PricewaterHouseCoopers LLP concluded that for the period from 2003 to 2008:

"The 2010 Winter Games are estimated to have produced up to 20,780 jobs in BC, approximately 10,000 (direct and indirect) of which were generated as a result of venue construction activity. A further 1,750 jobs were created across Canada through inter-provincal trade.

The report was commissioned by the BC and federal governments. Their November 5, 2009 news release about the report can be read here.

British Columbia's unemployment rate hits 8.3% in October

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

Stats Canada released its October 2009 Labour Force Survey yesterday. Notable facts include:

  • Nationally, "employment decreased by 43,000 in October, all in part time. This drop
    pushed the unemployment rate up 0.2 percentage points to 8.6%."
  • The largest employment losses occurred in Alberta and BC.
  • In October, British Columbia's employment declined by 13,000.
  • This employment loss in BC, coupled with a slight increase in the labour force, pushed the unemployment rate in the province to 8.3%, up 0.9 percentage points from September.
  • Over the past 12 months, employment in BC has fallen by 2.2% (-52,000).

The next release of the Labour Force Survey will be on December 4, 2009.

Amendments to Ontario's Employment Standards Act that regulate temporary help agencies in effect today

Topics: - Workforce Trends
Jurisdiction: - Ontario

Ontario's Employment Standards Amendment Act (Temporary Help Agencies) came into effect today, six months after receiving Royal Assent.

Also known as Bill 139, the legislation amends Ontario's Employment Standards Act, 2000 to regulate temporary help agencies and to ensure that "temporary help agency employees are treated fairly and have a better chance to move to sustainable employment."

Bill 139 was introduced by the Ontario government in December 2008 as part of its "Poverty Reduction Strategy".

The Ontario Ministry of Labour has several useful publications that outline the changes available here.