Two Canadian provinces have voted on whether to allow their workers to work remotely without having to go to work, but there is a long way to go before those bills become law.
In Manitoba, the provincial Liberal government has put forward a motion to ban all workers from working on the job from Oct. 31, 2017.
That means workers in Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton are barred from doing so from Nov. 1.
“If Manitoba becomes the first jurisdiction in Canada to ban its workforce from working remotely, it will put Manitoba at the forefront of a national movement that is expanding the reach of this policy to cover all Canadians,” Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said in a news release.
In British Columbia, Premier Christy Clark has said she supports a ban on all workers in remote and remote-working jobs.
Her party also has proposed allowing employers to ask for workers’ permission to work on the phone or via text message.
“Bans on work hours should be designed with the goal of protecting and supporting all workers, not just those who are more skilled,” Clark said in an e-mail to CBC News.
The federal NDP has also said it supports a national ban.
“A national ban on work-from-home for Canadians would make sure that we have a level playing field for everyone,” NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said in the same news release announcing the motion.
“As we move forward, we need to ensure that workers have the right to be able to work wherever and whenever they want.”
In the U.S., there are currently no federal laws prohibiting work from home in some circumstances.
However, some states have passed laws.
The provinces that have already voted on right-to-work laws are Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario.
They are:British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
The province of British Columbia voted last year in favour of right-of-work legislation, but its new government has said it will introduce it in 2019.
In Newfoundland and also in Ontario, there is no national right-wing opposition to right-work.
The Conservative Party has long been a vocal supporter of the practice, with Premier Mark Goldring in favour.
The NDP, Liberals and Green Party also support a national right to care, which would allow parents to decide for themselves whether or not their children can stay home at night and to decide when their children should be able work from their home.
The B.C. Liberals have said they will introduce a national law to protect children from the workplace and that the province will “consider a national minimum wage.”