Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

February 13, 2009 14:35 ET

Minister Ambrose Launches Consultations to Modernize Federal Labour Standards

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 13, 2009) - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Labour, announced today that she is launching consultations to modernize labour standards under Part III of the Canada Labour Code to ensure that they remain relevant and effective in the 21st-century economy.

"The work environment has changed considerably over the years and labour standards need to allow workers and businesses to better respond to a more modern workplace," said Minister Ambrose. "Input from employers, unions and employees is critical to ensuring that federal labour standards remain responsive to the needs of workers and businesses in today's economy."

The legislation has not been revised since it was enacted over 40 years ago. It establishes labour standards for workers in federally-regulated enterprises. Standards include overtime, hours of work, vacations and wage recovery.

The Government's priorities in reviewing federal labour standards are to modernize workplace practices, to promote family-friendly policies and work-life balance, and to foster long-term economic prosperity.

"In this time of global economic uncertainty, Canadians want their government to work together with workers and businesses in the best interests of the economy," said Minister Ambrose. "Together, we will ensure the workplace meets the needs of the 21st-century economy."

The consultations will follow up on the report entitled Fairness at Work: Federal Labour Standards for the 21st Century, produced by the Federal Labour Standards Review Commission in 2006, and will act on the Government's commitment to seek the views of business, unions and employees before deciding on a course of action.

A discussion paper, which summarizes recommendations from the Federal Labour Standards Review Commission report, and includes questions for discussion, is posted online. Interested parties are invited to provide their comments by
May 15, 2009.

The discussion paper can be found on the Labour Program Web site at Written submissions and comments from interested parties are welcomed by e-mail at, and by mail at:

Consultations on Federal Labour Standards
Place du Portage, Phase II,
Mailstop L805,
Gatineau, Quebec, K1A 0J2.

For more information, please visit

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Ambrose
    Jonah Mozeson
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations