Sask reviewing Alberta system to shame 'dead-beat' employers
For people looking for work in Alberta it just got easier to figure out which companies are less than trustworthy when it comes to paying their employees.
The Alberta government launched an online database listing every company that has been ordered by the court to pay outstanding wages over the last 10 years.
Mike Carr is the Deputy Minister of Labour Relations in Saskatchewan, he joined John Gormley live to talk about this system and whether or not it could be applied here. He says the idea is intriguing and could help put extra pressure on employers here who haven't paid their workers.
"It creates an opportunity where we improve recovery efforts to get the wages back to the people that they're owed to," he explained.
Carr pointed out that the problem of workers not getting paid is not as bad in Saskatchewan as it is in Alberta but it does happen.
"On an average year we'll issue about 200 wage assessments and of those 200 about 180 or so will end up as certificates or orders in the court for payment," he said.
Carr says the majority of complaint cases are resolved with the standard recovery steps. Employers will pay up when the labour relations board tells them to,but there are exceptions.
"We've also gone beyond that on occasion and taken the unusual step of petitioning an individual employer into bankruptcy in order to recover wages owed," Carr explained.
He says Alberta's online database for dead-beat employers is similar to something Saskatchewan already does when they are trying to track companies that try to disappear when they owe wages.
"There are five or more cases a year where we will for example, take out ads trying to identify where the individual we are seeking for payment is located," Carr said.
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety is planning to review Alberta's system for the next three months to see if an online database is a worth-while tool to shame employers into paying up.
You can listen to a podcast of the interview with John Gormley here.