It’s time for flexibility

May 16, 2016          Ottawa, Ontario          Employment and Social Development Canada

Improving work-life balance for Canadians, while adding value to businesses, is the goal of a new consultation launched today by the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, the Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk. She is asking Canadians to have their say starting today as she launches a new consultation to bring the right to request Flexible Work Arrangements (Flex Work) to Canada.

Flex Work can take many forms but usually involves giving someone the right to change where or when they work to help balance other responsibilities. Reasons could include allowing someone to pick up or drop off their child at day care or school, to take care of a loved one, enrol in training or education program or participate in traditional Indigenous practices such as hunting or fishing. There are many reasons why someone might need a little more flexibility in their schedule, and under our plan they would have the formal right to request it.

Flex Work has a track record of benefitting businesses around the world. In the United Kingdom, research shows companies that embrace Flex Work found it easier to attract and keep top talent, giving them a competitive advantage. It also helps boost sales, employee job satisfaction, company innovation and productivity. Offering Flex Work supports workers and improves business results.

Canadians will have a chance to give their say to the Government through online and in-person consultations. Anyone can submit their views through an online survey open today until June 30, 2016. The Government will also hold roundtables across Canada in the coming weeks to hear from employers, workers, academics and others.

Quick Facts

  • Amending the Canada Labour Code to provide every federally regulated worker the right to formally request a flexible work arrangement fulfills a commitment in Minister Mihychuk’s mandate letter from the Prime Minister.
  • The Government will also work with interested provinces and territories to give their workers the right to request flexible work arrangements.
  • According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 58 percent of Canadians report “overload” due to the pressures associated with the many different roles they now play at home and at work.
  • Other countries, including the United Kingdom, have systems in place to allow workers to formally request flexible working conditions, and require employers to formally respond.


“It’s time we gave Canadians the flexibility they need to balance their busy lives at home and at work. Our plan will do just that, and I’m looking forward to hearing from Canadians about how flexible work arrangements could help them.”
– The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Associated Link

Consulting Canadians on flexible work arrangements 

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John O’Leary
Director of Communications
Office of the Hon. MaryAnn Mihychuk, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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