These rights and protections help employees balance work and home life. The impact of flexible work arrangements can also reach beyond the benefits derived by the organization and contribute to the development of a sustainable society. Labour organizations and survey respondents said that they should not and cited privacy concerns. Two key areas for change were identified: workplace policies and procedures, and norms and attitudes towards flex work and employees who work flexibly. . On social media, the hashtags #FlexibleWork and #ConditionsTravailSouples were used to engage with Canadians via Twitter. protections for employees against reprisal resulting from making a request; and/or. For more information see the Fair Work Ombudsman website. Labour organizations and many survey respondents argued that because a right is a right (and is not contingent on an employee demonstrating worthiness in the eyes of the employer) and the need for flexibility is often unpredictable, there should be no restrictions on when an employee can exercise their right to request. Over 73 percent (or just over 600) of those who responded to the survey question about whether they had asked for flex work in the past five years, said that they had. Survey respondents reported that having to provide child care and elder care were among the top reasons for asking for flex work, with some noting that working part-time is sometimes the only alternative available for women with intensive care responsibilities. As the Canadian Grain Commission's Alternative Working Arrangements policy had been in place since May 2015, it was an appropriate time to ensure the objectives of the policy are being met. . by Daniel Yereniuk. It remains valid until the earlier of: the termination of the compressed work week arrangement, or Some noted that, since the onus is on employees to make a request for flex work, they must be aware that they have the right before they can exercise it. The Code provides other rights and protections that help employees achieve work life balance, such as: Rights and protections in support of work life balance can benefit both employees and employers by: As an employee, you may exercise your right to request a flexible work arrangement under the Code. The Federal Government has pledged to amend the Canada Labour Code to allow federally regulated workers to formally request flexible work arrangements from their employers, noting that a statutory right to request flexible work arrangements would align with existing obligations under human rights law (e.g. The following are the flexible work arrangements which may be considered, among others: Reduction of Workhours and/or Workdays refers to one where the normal workhours or workdays per week ahead are reduced. The Government of Canada's Blueprint 2020 initiative also promotes finding new and better ways for public servants to work. The following 20 individuals and organizations made written submissions in response to the flex work discussion paper: Advocacy groups, community groups and other organizations. Employers should be required to respond within a month, though there should be exemptions (faster responses required) for times of emergency.â. There was general recognition among survey respondents and stakeholders that collaboration between all workplace partners is necessary for effective cultural change. Flexible Work Arrangements Feedback provided to an online survey that sought the views of Canadians on allowing workers in federally regulated private sectors to formally request flexible working arrangements (FWAs) from their employers and which FWAs would help them to better balance their professional, family and personal responsibilities. flexible work requests for changes to the employeeâs: the requested change would result in additional costs that would be a burden on the employer. Hours of work averaging arrangements. . Many said that the employer should have to demonstrate that they have not unreasonably refused a request and that, if a complaint is founded, an employer should be required to reconsider the request or compensate the employee. Alternatively, employers may initiate various schedules to meet their customer needs. Government of Canada issues Flexible Work Arrangements report. . Most employers and employer associations that participated in the roundtables indicated that they normally try to respond positively to requests for flex work. I often wish we could create more fluid opportunities . This is fundamentally affecting the way that work is organized and creates opportunities for more flexible workplaces. Not all participants responded to every question (see Annex A for more details). While not a representative sample, responses to the 34 multiple-choice and open-ended questions provided unique insight into how Canadians view flex work and the experiences they have had with it. sharing lessons learned across organizations and among employer and employee organizations and other stakeholders; joint employer-employee committees on work-life balance that could provide a forum for discussions on flex work in a given workplace, including with non-unionized employees, and could develop tools to assist individual employers and employees in having conversations about flexible work arrangements and preparing work plans detailing how new arrangements will work; and. Employees are also more likely to avail themselves of an opportunity to request a preferred work arrangement if they know they have a statutory right to do so, and employer reprisals for exercising this right are unlawful.â, âFETCO agrees that flexible work arrangements provide an opportunity for employees to enhance work-life balance, if used appropriately. are denied. They also stressed that it is already playing an important role in attracting and retaining good employees and fostering workplace diversity. It is the employee’s responsibility to understand the affect that a flexible work arrangement may have on earnings, pension and other benefits. Some participants suggested considering other provisions or tools beyond recourse mechanisms to support compliance and enforcement of a right to request, such as: However, employers and employer organizations cautioned against introducing requirements into the Code that compel employers to add processes and procedures to what should be an internal discussion between the employee and their manager about a mutually accommodating work arrangement. The Government of Canada is committed to amending the Canada Labour Code (Code) to provide workers in federally regulated enterprises with a right to request flexible work arrangements from their employers. health, pensions) and that this can result in employees not taking advantage of opportunities for more flexibility, even if they or their family would benefit. It was also noted that it is important for employees, employers and policy-makers to recognize that flexibility in work arrangements is related to but distinct from flexibility to take leave from work. This annex provides an overview of the 1,262 individuals who responded to the survey, in whole or part, based on self-reported information. 3.2.1 Employees are able to reduce stress, achieve workâlife balance and meet performance expectations; 3.2.2 Telework is used where appropriate, including as a means to ensure an inclusive public service and a safe and healthy work environment where employees have access to flexible work arrangements; and Whether flexible work arrangements are considered to be feasible by the organizations which implemented them; 2. However, like most employers and labour organizations, they noted that such a time period would not accommodate emergency requests or some short-term requests. While there are exceptions, the predominant perspective in many workplaces is that flex work means that work will not get done, not that it might get done better. improving employee selection and retention, especially: creating a workplace that is productive, innovative and effective when completing their daily tasks, employees after 6 months of continuous employment, and. As several employers noted, flexible schedules are one of the working conditions that businesses can use to attract and retain skilled workers in the North. You must submit your request to your employer in writing. . According to Employment and Social Development Canada (âESDCâ), flexible work arrangements would help Canadians balance work and family or other personal responsibilities. Flexible work arrangements : a discussion paper. It should be mandatory for there to be a discussion between the employee and the manager to discuss pros and cons and to identify the best solution for everyone. Flexible Work Arrangements. Flexible working arrangements. educating labour inspectors and mediators). âI asked permission to take leave while my husband was battling cancer. Over 70 percent (or 527) of those who responded to the survey question about how likely they would be to use the right to request flexible work arrangements if they had it said that they would be âvery likelyâ to use it. The last section of the report addresses next steps. At the roundtables and in their written submissions, stakeholders suggested a number of possible grounds for refusing a request, including: Labour organizations, unions and advocacy groups cautioned that for employers to seriously consider requests, additional costs alone should not be grounds for refusing a request. They pointed to the benefits of flexible hours or a change in shift or work location for these individuals. This means they need a job to ensure they have the ability to buy those necessities. Getty Images comments Leave a comment You will not receive a reply. Employer organizations, on the other hand, maintained that employees should be entitled to make a request only after one year of continuous service with the same employer and that there should be limits on the number of requests that can be made per calendar year, to help ensure that potentially costly arrangements are not required for employees with minimal attachment to the workplace. Flexible work possibilities . It was noted that research shows that requests are more likely to lead to mutually beneficial outcomes if they involve developing a joint work plan detailing how the new arrangement will work. But Konrad and her colleague conducted their own field study, following 1,500 employees in Canada over a year, and compared those who had a flexible work accommodation to those who didn't. Since the beginning of September, anyone governed under the Canada Labour Code has the right to request flexible work arrangements. public recognition for workplaces that have best-in-class initiatives to support enhancing flex work. The employee should be involved in coming up with solutions to make [sure] their flexible work arrangement is as seamless a change to their team as possible. less than 25 employees) be exempted from the right to request as those organizations have less financial and human resource capacity to support flexible working. by Daniel Yereniuk. Flexible work arrangements are rising, but is it really a ... “One of the priorities of the Government of Canada is to update the Canada Labour Code to ensure that Canadians continue to … In addition, they said that, if a request is determined to have been unreasonably denied, it should be honoured, but that the employer should not be required to compensate the employee. workers with care responsibilities, millennial and older workers and workers with disabilities) and that realizing these benefits requires not seeing flexible working as a one-size-fits-all solution. Employees should familiarize themselves with both of these policies. Northern stakeholders and Indigenous organizations said that this was especially important in the North, where family responsibilities are often tied to cultural responsibilities and practices, such as hunting, fishing and harvesting. Working with patients to bring the right to request flexible work arrangements to Canada. Respondents with children under the age of 18 living in their household: Respondents who have asked their employer(s) for flexible work arrangements in the past five years. A deputy head may agree to an FAA if: While stakeholders and survey respondents generally agreed on the importance of formalizing the process for making a request for flex work, there was less agreement on how formalized the process should be. Flexible work arrangements (flex work) can benefit both workers and businesses, and many companies around the world have had great success in implementing such arrangements in their workplaces. But the truth is that many people feel they have no choice but to leave a job, even though they are willing and able to stay.â, âAn elder may indicate to an employed relative or community member that they are craving fresh seal meat. The stakeholders represented a total of 50 different organizations (18 employers and employer associations, nine unions and labour organizations, 21 advocacy groups, community groups and other organizations and two think tanks) and included seven academics. Tweets also asked Canadians about whether they use flex work and asked employers and employees in specific sectors about the impacts of flexible work arrangements in their workplaces. asking for further explanation), but with the possibility of moving to a formal external review or grievance process, including third-party mediation or arbitration. if the process takes too long to respond to an emergency or short-term request). I've done compressed work weeks before but other other types of flexible work Arrangements? For some employees, flexible work arrangements offer opportunities to work a flexible schedule before they fully retire. You must have worked for the same employer for 6 continuous months to be protected when making a request. Annex A presents an overview of those who participated in the survey. III. Flexible work arrangements, such as the ability to work from home, will benefit women, the 2017 federal budget promises. requests should be submitted in writing and be clear on what is being requested and for how long). The consultations confirmed that there is little data currently available to establish a solid baseline on flex work and that addressing this gap will be a key challenge in monitoring implementation and, where necessary, making adjustments. Stakeholders noted that flexible work arrangements may be especially challenging to implement in sectors with 24/7 or continuous operations, such as aviation, rail and trucking, and in small and medium-sized enterprises, where resources to accommodate flexibility are often very limited. 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