The Saskatchewan government is indexing the minimum wage and changing the rules for lockouts or strikes.
The changes introduced Tuesday are part of the new Saskatchewan Employment Act, which consolidates 12 workplace-related pieces of legislation into one omnibus bill.
Labour Minister Don Morgan said he doesn't expect to make business groups or unions completely happy.
"They're all going to find some things that they like and some things that they don't like," Morgan said at a news conference at the legislature.
"But I think what we've done is we've found some things that are fair."
Among other things, the legislation says people with disabilities can't be paid a lower minimum wage. The legislation allows for people to work either five eight-hour days a week or four 10-hour days a week.
The qualifying period for maternity, parental and adoption leave would lower to 13 weeks from 20 weeks.
On the labour relations front, the legislation says if a contract can't be reached, the parties must take a 14-day cooling off period before a strike or lockout can happen.
Unions can still fine members who cross picket lines, but now they'll have to get a court order to collect. "Under the existing method, what took place was the union would determine what the penalty should be [and] send a notice to the employer. The full sum that they chose was taken off the employee's paycheque," said Morgan. "We think that matter should be determined by somebody independent from the process rather than solely by the union."
© Copyright 2013