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GNWT Releases Results of Employment Standards Survey

The GNWT has recently shared the results of a report that looked into the public perception of the Employment Standards Act.

The report took place between April and June of last year. It saw around 320 participants submit surveys, take part in roundtable discussions, and send in written submissions. Among the people represented in the report were employees and employers who fall under the Act, as well as labour, employer, and non-government organizations, Indigenous governments and organizations, GNWT employees, and NWT residents.

The purpose of the survey was to find feedback on topics like paid sick leave, flexible work arrangements, and statutory holidays.

Some of the feedback they received included:

  • Participants were generally in favour of a proposal to legislate paid sick leave in the NWT.
  • Employers were divided on a proposal to implement a statutory holiday in February, while employees and other participants largely supported the idea.
  • Participants were overwhelmingly in favour of a proposal to introduce Leave Related to Death or Disappearance of a Child, and extending Bereavement Leave to include prenatal pregnancy loss or stillbirth.
  • There were mixed results on proposed Family Responsibility Leave, Leave for Traditional Indigenous Practices, and Long-Term Medical Leave, all of which employers largely opposed.
  • Participants were broadly in favour of administrative penalty fees for employers who wilfully contravene the Act. However, they were divided on whether a public registry should be established for employers with unpaid fines.

After this report, the GNWT will be working on developing a legislative proposal to amend the Employment Standards Act. The feedback collected will allow Legislators to decide what changes to make with the Act.

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