Yukon workers' compensation board explores youth employment reforms
Will consult public on how to better protect young workers
The Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board is consulting the public on how to better protect and regulate young workers in response to calls for stricter legislation governing youth employment.
There is next to no law that protects Yukon youth in the workforce other than rules setting minimum age limits in the mining industry.
That prompted the territory's NDP to introduce the Young Worker Protection Act in October. Among other things, it proposes limiting the number of hours individuals under the age of 16 can work to two hours every school day.
The government has asked the Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board to prepare a report on the issue that will be presented to the legislative assembly this spring.
Students, employers, parents and eductors are all being consulted, said Kurt Dieckmann, the board's director of occupational health and safety.
"I've talked to a number of teachers who have told me that they tell youth, 'You should try and limit it to 15 hours a week ... so that you can do your homework and do your work'," Dieckmann told CBC News.
One issue the board will consider is whether parents should be able to exempt their children from any part of the legislation.
"We're asking parents and business owners and students ... if there should be exemptions for mom-and-pop type businesses, so family businesses, that sort of thing," he said.
Dieckmann said public meetings will be held on the issue, and the board's work will be helped by the research being done on the subject in other parts of Canada and around the world.