Established in 1938, the Canadian Association of Administrators of Labour Legislation (CAALL) is an association of federal-provincial-territorial departments of labour and heads of occupational safety and health agencies. It provides a continuous forum for federal, provincial and territorial senior officials. CAALL provides governments with an opportunity to develop strong and cooperative working relationships.
Through CAALL, Deputy Ministers, as well as other senior officials, have a means of working together in seeking solutions to similar problems.
The main fora for these exchanges are the CAALL annual meeting in May, the site of which is rotated among jurisdictions; and, a teleconference in the October, leading up to the next meeting of FPT Ministers responsible for Labour.
CAALL also serves as the vehicle for preparations (development of the agenda, background papers and logistics) for federal-provincial-territorial meetings of Ministers responsible for Labour, as well as on the follow-up required on issues as directed by Ministers.
Under the Canadian Constitution, responsibility for labour affairs is shared between the federal government and the governments of the provinces and territories. About 10% of the workforce (including both the public and private sectors) is under federal jurisdiction, while the remainder is under provincial/territorial jurisdiction. As a result, there exists 14 different sets of labour laws covering a multitude of workplace-related issues, and 14 independent administrative structures (such as industrial relations, employment standards, occupational safety and health, workers compensation).
Direction of CAALL
Historically, CAALL was a forum for the exchange of information and ideas about labour-related issues with discussions focused primarily on the administration of labour legislation.
In recent years, there has been a major shift in the direction of the Association, given changing economies and workplaces both nationally and internationally. While Deputy Ministers continue to value the information exchange aspect of CAALL, discussions at their meetings now focus on:
- identifying similar problems, policies, programs and issues of concern and undertaking joint projects
- working cooperatively on national issues that impact on labour matters; and
- having CAALL committees undertake initiatives, including professional development, on leading edge workplace issues to more effectively use limited resources.