Mandate – Labour Program

The Labour Program - Working for you

The Labour Program works for you by promoting safe, healthy, cooperative and productive workplaces that benefit us all. Canadians are entitled to be treated fairly on the job and, through legislation, programs and services, we foster good working conditions, constructive labour-management relations and workplaces free from discrimination.

The Labour Program:

  • assists employers and unions by providing mediation and conciliation services;
  • monitors to ensure compliance with labour and employment equity legislation;
  • legislates to protect workers' health and safety;
  • negotiates international labour agreements;
  • collects data to provide information on the workplace.

Working closely with employers and unions

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service provides expert assistance to help resolve workplace differences. It also provides tools for workers in the federal jurisdiction to challenge unjust dismissals and to recover unpaid wages. These services and tools support cooperation and encourage fairness amongst employers and workers, leading to more productive workplaces and preventing strikes that disrupt the lives of Canadians and the economy.

Enforcing labour legislation and regulations

Labour standards such as minimum wage, hours of work, working conditions and fairness in the workplace depend on legislation such as the Canada Labour Code and the Employment Equity Act . The Labour Program administers and enforces these and other laws and regulations to ensure that all Canadian workers are treated fairly and receive proper compensation for their work.

Promoting and applying occupational health and safety

Health and safety in the workplace extends from regulations requiring hard hats and harnesses to investigating refusals to work and providing advice about how best to prevent or manage workplace illness. Rules and regulations also exist to protect Canadian workers from discrimination, violence and harassment. The Labour Program helps to ensure that Canada's workplaces remain safe and secure places to work and do business.

Negotiating international labour agreements

The Labour Program collaborates with our international partners to help Canadian businesses compete on a level playing field, while ensuring that worker's rights are protected. The Labour Program negotiates Labour Cooperation Agreements and labour chapters in the context of free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations, which commit partner countries to enforce and respect core labour standards.

Providing information on Canada's workplaces

To understand what changes need to be done in order to improve working conditions for Canadians, we must first understand today's workplace realities. To this end, the Labour Program collects, analyzes and disseminates information on collective bargaining trends to help us better understand the challenges we face.

Almost 6% of Canadians are employed in federally regulated sectors of the economy, including:

  • Banking
  • Telecommunications
  • Broadcasting
  • Air, interprovincial rail, road and pipeline transportation
  • Shipping and related services
  • Uranium mining, and
  • Crown corporations

We work closely with provincial and territorial governments, unions, employers, and international partners to enhance working conditions and ensure healthy and fair workplaces for all Canadians. Ultimately, the work we do and the information we provide covers subjects of interest to all Canadian workers and employers.

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