Members

​ESDC Announces Steps Toward Regulating Scheduling Exemptions

- by Christina Hryniuk

(Feb. 14, 2020) -- Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has announced a process to consider solidifying exemptions from new scheduling requirements for certain job classes in the trucking industry.

In 2019 ESDC announced interim exemptions in a variety of industries from a new scheduling requirement that came into force on September 1, 2019. At that time, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) prepared a submission on behalf of the trucking industry and eventually interim exemptions were granted for several job classes in the trucking industry, like Truck Drivers, Courier Drivers, Material Handlers/Warehouse Workers, and Shipper-Receivers.

“When we dealt with this issue last fall, there was not enough time to have these exemptions solidified in regulation before the fall federal election,” said Stephen Laskowski, CTA president. “As a result, interim exemptions were used until the regulatory process could be initiated.”

Since that time, it has been ‘business as usual’ for trucking companies and employees in these job classes when it comes to scheduling requirements. However, ESDC has now announced that they will be beginning the process to solidify these exemptions into regulation. As was the case with the last round, it appears ESDC will be taking a sectoral approach and CTA will be leading the efforts in the trucking sector.

“In our opinion, CTA and the trucking industry made one of the strongest cases of any sector in the last round of consultations on this issue,” said Jonathan Blackham, CTA Direct of Policy and Public Affairs. “Our technical submission in support of these exemptions was fact based and clearly articulated the issues these new provisions caused for the trucking industry, and quite frankly, the entire Canadian supply chain.”

CTA was supported by groups and companies from the trucking industry, manufacturing, primary resources and many others. At the time, CTA was copied on countless emails from all aspects of the Canadian supply chain sent directly to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Labour supporting CTA’s request for exemptions.

While CTA is hoping that they do not need to initiate a similar call to action during this consultation, CTA is asking the trucking industry and the supply chain to be ready should trucking need their assistance to make the policy case for our sector.

“The government undoubtedly knows there has been rapid changes occurring in all freight sectors and the economy itself. Rapid changes that demand flexibility,” said Laskowski. “Key operational trends like just-in-time inventory, 24-hour package delivery, and variable production, among a host of other trends and practices, cannot be disregarded by government policy. We are hopeful these consultations will recognize these essential facts and will put these exemptions in regulation.”