More employment standards enforcement coming

By Morinville News Staff

Edmonton – A new web page listing deadbeat Alberta employers who have not paid employees properly is one of the tools in the province’s new arsenal of tools to improve fairness in the workplace. The government announced June 19 the initiative would combine increased education tools and employment standards enforcement.

In addition to the list of employers, a new series of short videos outlining employment standards basics has been added. Albertans can also now sign up online for free local workshops that provide detailed information on applying the Employment Standards Code and Regulation to everyday situations.

“We need both employers and employees to be aware of their responsibilities and rights in the workplace which in turn contributes to respectful work environments,” said Dave Hancock, Minister of Human Services in a release June 19. “We have now put some very accessible tools in place to educate the community about the Employment Standards Code which should contribute to reducing complaints, while creating awareness about those employers with outstanding claims.”

Provincial information indicates the majority of employment standards claims involve unpaid earnings. Approximately 80 per cent of the claims are eventually collected by the province on behalf of employees, but some end up as unsatisfied provincial court judgments.

The new web page includes the names of approximately 1,700 employers and 3,500 unsatisfied claims totalling more than $14 million. Some date back 10 years. Employers can have their names removed from the list by paying the earnings as directed.

But it is not all about embarrassing employers into paying what they have been ordered to pay. The province says it is encouraging compliance with employment standards by improving access to information and educational materials.

“A balance of education and enforcement is the key to reducing the number of claims,” Hancock said in the release, adding help is available to employers who are having difficulty understanding the rules through videos, workshops and tool kits.

The video series is based on the Employment Standards Tool Kit for Employers, introduced in 2011.

The employer list can be found at http://employment.alberta.ca/sfw/esjudgments.asp. Information on the employer tool kit can be found at http://www.employment.alberta.ca/SFW/es-toolkit.html.

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The Morinville News is an online daily and bi-weekly print publication serving Morinville and surrounding area. Our print publication is distributed on the first, third and fifth Wednesday. You can also follow us online on Twitter @MorinvilleNews and on Facebook at Facebook.com/MorinvilleNews

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