Le Canada s'interrogeant sur l'adéquation de ses catégories juridiques face aux impératifs des nouvelles conditions d'exercice du travail subordonné liées aux nouvelles technologies, l'auteur examine d'abord le cadre légal et ensuite les dispositions conventionnelles palliatives ou complémentaires sur ce sujet.
Labour law may deal both with the processes of planning and implementation of technological change and with the impact of such changes.
The decision to devise and to implement technological change has traditionally been considered as a managerial prerogative, which is sometimes subject to a contractual or statutory duty to give advanced notice. What federal and provincial laws provide are mostly protections against individual and collective dismissal.
There is no specific statutory duty for the employer to ensure the adaptation of his workforce to the changing working environment. Both the Beaudry Report in Quebec, and the Report on the Advisory Council on Adjustment to the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement have noted the relative lack of sensibility of enterprises to that dimension of the introduction of technological change. They have made some interesting and even bold proposals to improve the protection of workers in such contexts.
New technologies also tend to modify the parameters of both industrial health and safety laws and workers compensation acts by introducing new types of problems.
Collective agreements often include provisions which recognize various degrees of union implication in the processes of planning or implementing change. If many agreements now provide for special notices, training rights or early retirement in the context of technological change, seniority rights are still the main protection against their adverse effects on job security.
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