The fall legislative session wrapped up on Thursday and Moose Jaw North MLA Warren Michelson said he is satisfied with what the government has accomplished.
“I think the fall session went very well,” said Michelson. “There are obviously big challenges for Saskatchewan, as a growing province, but the government is committed to the province and its growth.”
The Saskatchewan Party government has run a growth-focused agenda which has introduced many pieces of legislation, but an overhaul of the Saskatchewan Employment Act “probably gets the most attention,” Michelson said.
“It’s just taking a lot of existing acts and bringing them up to date,” he said. “I think the act presented to the legislature was very fair and clearly defines the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers.”
Interim NDP leader John Nilson raised concerns about the manner in which proposed revisions to the Employment Act were introduced.
“I’m very disappointed that they introduced (the legislation) very late in the session,” said the opposition leader. “Already, as we look at the act, every page increases the number of questions we need to ask.”
“What we know, in quite a number of ways, is this whole project has been a surprise from the beginning,” said Nilson. “And it has sort of been a gong show as it has gone on.”
“I think (the legislation) has been fairly presented to legislature and will bring the existing legislation up to date,” he said.
“There are huge steps taken” in the Employment Act revisions, Michelson added, highlighting in particular the indexing of minimum wage to inflation and the reduction of red tape surrounding a four-day, ten-hour shift arrangement for employees.
But a lack of clarity in the legislation’s wording could present issues moving forward, said Nilson.
“It’s confusing, and it presents a whole number of challenges for families and individuals,” he said. “I think this labour legislation is going to be an ongoing concern.”