The Saskatchewan Employment Act

Overview

The Saskatchewan Employment Act (SS 2013, c. S-15.1) protects employees who report a contravention to the Act to a supervisor, a law enforcement agency or officials in charge of enforcing the Act. The Act also prohibits any reprisal against an employee who has made a protected disclosure.

What kind of disclosure is protected?

The Act protects employees who, while acting in good faith and on the basis of reasonable belief, have disclosed or will disclose information related to a wrongdoing in contravention of any Act of the Province or Act of the Parliament of Canada s.2-42(2) to a person of lawful authority.

Under the Act, lawful authority refers to police or a law enforcement agency, a person whose duties include the enforcement of this Act, or any person directly or indirectly responsible for supervising an employee s.2-42(1).

Who is eligible for protection?

The Act protects private and public sector employees who make a protected disclosure regarding a wrongdoing. 

Under the Act, employees 2.1 are individuals who: 

  • receive or are entitled to wages; 
  • an employer permits, directly or indirectly, to perform work or services normally performed by an employee;
  • trained by an employer for the employer’s business;
  • on an employment leave from employment with an employer; and
  • a deceased person who, at the relevant time, was a person described in any of subclauses (i) to (iv); 

but does not include a person engaged in a prescribed activity

The Act does not protect employees whose actions are frivolous or vexatious s.2-42(3)

An employee has one year from the last day that wages were paid to register a complaint with the Employment Standards Division.

How are whistleblowers protected?

The Act prohibits any kind of reprisal against an employee for having made a protected disclosure under the Act or for testifying in an investigation regarding a protected disclosure s.2-42(2)(a) & (b)

Under the Act, a reprisal may constitute any of the following: 

Any person who knowingly takes any kind of reprisal against an employee for disclosing information related to a wrongdoing is guilty s.2-95(1) of a fine of no more than $10,000 for the first offence, no more than $25,000 for a second offence and no more than $50,000 for a third or subsequent offence s.2-95(2)(a) & (b).

How should disclosures be made?

Be careful! Despite presenting some challenges for follow ups, one of the best protections for whistleblowers is their anonymity. Be cautious when providing any information through electronic means, especially emails! Read the security tips section.

An employee can either file a formal complaint or an anonymous complaint with the Employment Standards Division.

Formal Complaint :
Formal employment standards complaints can be submitted using the Online Formal Complaint Form (recommended) or by downloading a formal complaint form.

Anonymous complaint:
Anonymous employment standards complaint forms can be downloaded and submitted to the Employment Standards Division. Completed forms can be dropped off, mailed or faxed to the nearest Employment Standards Division regional office.

If the complaint is to recover unpaid wages, the employee must file a formal complaint.

Contact Information:
Phone: (306) 787-2438
Email: employmentstandards@gov.sk.ca

For additional information on how to file a complaint, please visit https://www.saskatchewan.ca/business/employment-standards/complaints-investigations-enforcement-and-fines/file-an-employment-standards-complaint.