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Changes to Saskatchewan Employment Act come into force Jan. 1

One amendment to the Saskatchewan Employment Act taking effect in January will see protection against harassment for students, contract workers and volunteers in the workplace. File / Global News

The provincial government says amendments to the Saskatchewan Employment Act will come into effect Jan. 1.

An amendment to the act states that students, volunteers and independent contract workers will now be protected against any form of harassment while in the workplace, including sexual harassment.

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According to the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, the legislation clarifies that the definition of harassment includes “any unwelcome action of a sexual nature.”

“This legislation will ensure that contract workers, students and volunteers can go to their jobs without concerns about being exposed to harassment,” stated Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan.

“We want to protect all workers from harassment and create safe, healthy workplaces.”

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An additional amendment to the act includes the removal of the requirement for the Labour Relations Board to exclude supervisory employees from the same bargaining unit as those they supervise unless the employer and union have entered an irrevocable election.

Read more: Updated trespassing legislation coming into force Jan. 1 in Saskatchewan

The ministry said the board will instead be given authority to determine the appropriate bargaining unit, which may include a unit comprised only of supervisors.

“Transition provisions have been included which authorize the board to hear applications from employers or unions to amend existing certification orders which exclude supervisors from the bargaining units,” the government stated in a release on Monday.

Another amendment will see public and private sector employers be provided with protection when they comply with new COVID-19 vaccination regulations.

The amendment will provide employees with the choice of showing evidence of being fully vaccinated or evidence of a negative COVID-19 test at least every seven days.

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