Bill 85

Sask Employment Act thumbnailGet in the know: New law reduces workplace protections and rights


The Saskatchewan Employment Act (Bill 85) replaces 12 formerly separate workplace laws and, in doing so, takes away protections and rights at work.  It is poised to become law (in force) by 2014 and will mean fewer workplace protections and rights.


Significant changes made by the Act:

1. Exclusions from union membership

  • New “Confidential” exemptions of who is defined as an “employee” under the law will effectively ban workers from their right to belong to a union, and they will lose the protections and rights their union provides.

2. Supervisors taken out of their bargaining units and contracts

  • Current in-scope supervisors can be removed from established union local bargaining units without their say, and their union contract may or may not follow them.

3. Loss of the weekend

  • Unless specified in you union contract or through regulation, The Act takes away two consecutive days off for Saskatchewan workers.

You will have fewer workplace protections and rights when The Saskatchewan Employment Act becomes law, and much of the law is left to regulations made behind closed doors by the government.


Timeline of Bill 85, The Saskatchewan Employment Act

Time of event Description
May 2012 Government releases “Consultation Paper” proposing overhaul of protections and rights at work.
December 2012 Bill 85 tabled in legislature as omnibus Bill combining 12 formerly separate workplace-related laws making significant changes to workplace protections and rights.
May 2013 Bill 85 passed with 30 amendments. Receives Royal Assent on 15 May 2013 and is set to come into force “on proclamation” – meaning a date in the future determined by the Minister. It is expected to be in force by 2014.
July 2013 Government releases “consultation Paper” requesting input on certain sections of regulations before the government drafts and approves regulations. No consultation process provided to consider the government drafted regulations and their impacts before they are enacted.