New workers' website provides wealth of data

Jan 23, 2003, vol. 26, no. 2
By Marianne Meadahl



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A website designed to help workers better understand their rights and work towards improved protection, wages and benefits is SFU's 7th floor media's latest creation.

WorkRights.ca provides workers from across Canada with easily accessible information about laws and regulations pertaining to a variety of topics, from work hours and vacation entitlement to unsafe working conditions and complaint procedures.

“We wanted to create a one-stop solution for Canadian workers,” says John Kay, executive assistant to the president for Working Enterprises, and executive producer of WorkRights.ca.

“It's a place where they can go to get answers without having to wade through multiple layers of navigation on government web sites laden with legal jargon.”

The site design allows for quick comparisons from region to region, making it an ideal research tool. For example, comparing vacation time shows workers in B.C. are entitled to two weeks paid vacation after full time work for one year.

Workers in Saskatchewan get three weeks after one year, while workers in Newfoundland must work 15 years with the same employer before getting three weeks paid vacation.

Blair Rosser, project manager of the site, says WorkRights.ca has a state-of-the-art content management system allowing clients to update content within minutes, without requiring specialized knowledge of web development and publishing. “Because legislation is constantly changing, we recognized the need to create a web site that would be easy to update,” he says.

WorkRights.ca was created by 7th Floor Media, which specializes in the design of educational and cultural new media, for the Vancouver-based Working Enterprises Group. The content was provided by the Canadian Labour Congress, which represents 2.5 million Canadian workers.

The site was promoted in December through a series of advertisements displayed on movie theatre screens across the country, posing such questions as, “How much money do you make compared to a movie star?”

“We wanted to get the word out to as wide an audience as possible,” says Kay, who is also executive producer for the project.

Housed at Harbour Centre, staff at 7th Floor Media have created a wide range of relevant educational applications. They have a reputation for being Canada's leading educational and cultural new media group.

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