Northern Overtime Exemption To Be Reviewed

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 at 14:01



Saskatchewan Labour Minister Deb Higgins agrees a long-standing overtime exemption in northern Saskatchewan needs to be looked into.


Former MP Rick Laliberte, the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour and some unions are calling for its removal.


They point out northern Saskatchewan is the only jurisdiction that has this type of law in place, allowing employers to exempt workers from overtime pay in most northern centres.


Higgins notes the legislation has been there for almost 50 years.


She says it was last looked at in 1995 during a review of the Labour Standards Act.


Higggins says the exemption was left as is, because the government couldn’t reach a consensus on it.


However, she rejects suggestions by some that the legislation is racist.


Higgins also says before anything is decided, she and her department will have to do some research to see who the exemption affects, and then carry out some consultations.


Higgins couldn’t say how long that would take.