The proposed amendments to the Canada Labour Code would grant additional rights to an estimated 820,000 employees – equal to six per cent of the nation’s workforce – and effect approximately 12,000 businesses across industries such as banking and communications.
Under the proposal, a worker could submit a formal request to their employer for flex time and the employer would be required to respond to the request within a set deadline, providing an evidence-based explanation in the event that the request is denied.
A discussion paper released Monday by federal Employment Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk said the move is designed to address concerns over work-life balance, particularly among the millennial generation.
“As a number of recent studies suggest, many are seeking more flexibility in when, how and where they work because they highly value work-life balance,” the paper states.
“Millennials are the fastest growing segment of Canada’s workforce and have now become the largest generation in the Canadian workforce,” it continues.
A number of nations currently have similar rules in places including Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom – as well as some U.S. jurisdictions, such as Vermont and San Francisco.
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In a sure sign of changing times, the Liberal governments is considering a legislative update that would see all federally regulated employees given the right to request flexible working hours and force all federally regulated employers to respond formally.