The Saskatchewan Employment Act and Regulations set out the minimum employment standards in the workplace. Permits allow for certain employment standards to be varied on a case by case basis. Permits can be approved, rejected, revoked, or altered by the Executive Director of Employment Standards.
Employees affected by the permits are still entitled to all other requirements of The Saskatchewan Employment Act, including overtime, annual holidays, and public holidays.
Employment Standards only issues permits to employers. Non-unionized employers must obtain a permit from the Director of Employment Standards. Unionized workplaces must obtain the written agreement of the trade union representing the employees affected by the permit. Self-employed persons do not require permits.
There are six permits available under The Saskatchewan Employment Act and Regulations:
Application forms may be requested from the Employment Standards Division or downloaded online.There is one exception to the rule that only employers can apply for permits. Parents and guardians must apply for the Authorization to Vary Youth Employment Rules Permit if they wish to alter the youth employment rules.
Applications must be completed, signed, and returned to the Employment Standards Division for approval.
To ensure fairness, the Executive Directory may require separate permit applications for each:
- Job site or business location; and/or
- Category of employee, within the same organization, where jobs performed by each category or employee are different.
To allow for sufficient processing time, employers should submit their permit applications at least two weeks before they are required. Permits will not be issued retroactively except in exceptional circumstances.
All permit applications require the written consent of the affected employees or a representing union. By providing their signature, employees show that they support the application for a permit.
The Executive Director may accept a permit application in which not all of the affected employees have signed the permit if a majority of the employees who are impacted have indicated their support. Affected employees may choose (or the Executive Director may order) a secret ballot vote to ensure there is support for a permit application.
In the case of the Authorization to Vary Youth Employment Rules Permit application, at least one parent or guardian of the youth seeking employment must sign the application.
Where a job requires heavy physical or a higher than normal mental effort and due care, non-standard and extended work shifts can affect workers' levels of alertness and their performance towards the end of an extended shift. This can result in a greater chance of an incident or injury during the extended portion of the shift.
Therefore, a higher than average time loss work injury rate may be a consideration when determining if an application is to be approved for shift arrangements longer than 10 hours.
- Authorization to permit the payment of wages during a strike on a day other than the day on which they would usually be paid. Application for this authorization is by a letter of request to the Executive Director of Employment Standards (section 2-34(2)).
- Authorization to waive the requirement to provide notice of group termination. Application for this authorization is by a letter of request to the Executive Director of Employment Standards.