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Ontario passes new rules aimed at work-life balance for employees – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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The Ontario government has passed new laws it says will help employees disconnect from the office and create a better work-life balance.

On Tuesday, the government said it passed the “Working for Workers Act,” which requires Ontario businesses with 25 people or more to have a written policy about employees’ rights when it comes to disconnecting from their job at the end of the day.

These workplace policies could include, for example, expectations about response time for emails and encouraging employees to turn on out-of-office notifications when they aren’t working, the government says.

According to the act, between January 1 and March 1 of each year an employer must ensure it has a written policy in place for all employees with respect to disconnecting from work.

“We are determined to rebalance the scales and put workers in the driver’s seat of Ontario’s economic growth while attracting the best workers to our great province,” Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, said in a statement Tuesday.

The act also bans the use of non-compete clauses, which prevent people from exploring other work opportunities and higher salaries at other jobs.

According to the government, Ontario is the first jurisdiction in Canada, and one of the first in North America, to ban non-compete agreements in employment.

McNaughton says the new laws not only protects workers’ rights, but also will help to attract top talent and investments to the province.

The act also removes “unfair” work experience requirements for foreign-trained immigrants trying to work in their professions. 

It also introduces a mandatory licencing framework for temporary help agencies and recruiters to help prevent labour trafficking.

“This legislation is another step towards building back a better province and cementing Ontario’s position as a global leader, for others to follow, as the best place in the world to live, work and raise a family,” McNaughton said.

A government spokesperson told CTV News Toronto that while the act has not yet received royal assent, it is expected to later this week.

Timelines for when each law under the Working For Workers Act will come into effect have not been announced yet and the government said it there will be a initial grace period for businesses.

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A third of airline pilots still not flying as pandemic drags on -survey

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More than one-third of airline pilots are still not flying as the pandemic continues to take its toll on aviation globally, according to a new survey, though the situation has improved from a year earlier when the majority were grounded.

A poll of more than 1700 pilots by UK-based GOOSE Recruitment and industry publication FlightGlobal, released on Wednesday, found 62% globally were employed and currently flying, up from 43% a year earlier.

The proportion of unemployed pilots fell from 30% to 20%, while 6% were on furlough, compared with 17% previously as air traffic began to bounce back from 2020 lows.

But in the Asia-Pacific region, the worst-hit globally by a drop in international travel due to tough border restrictions, the proportion of those unemployed rose from 23% to 25%. The region also had the lowest number that were employed flying at 53%.

“We have … seen some expatriates return home from the region due to concerns over quarantine or being stuck for long periods away from friends and family,” the report on the survey said.

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways, a large expatriate employer in Asia, has lost hundreds of pilots through the closure of its Cathay Dragon regional arm as well as almost all of its overseas bases during the pandemic.

Pilot attrition at Cathay has also been rising amid strict layover rules that leave crew members locked https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/locked-hotels-hong-kongs-covid-19-rules-take-mental-toll-cathay-pilots-2021-11-26 in hotels when they are not flying.

Of the pilots still flying globally, 61% told the survey they were concerned about their job security.

“It appears only Northern America is back to post-COVID passenger numbers,” said an unnamed captain flying in the Middle East and Africa. “The rest of the world, especially developing nations, are still struggling to get vaccines, and are still not travelling.”

 

(Reporting by Jamie Freed in Sydney; Editing by David Gregorio)

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Apple grabs record China market share as Q4 sales surge-research

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Apple Inc achieved its highest-ever market share in China in the fourth quarter, when it was the top-selling vendor there for the first time in six years, research firm Counterpoint Research reported on Wednesday.

The milestone coincided with the release of the iPhone 13, and amid otherwise stagnant demand for handsets as chief rival Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s [HWT.UL] market share declined.

Apple’s smartphone market share reached 23%, a record for the brand. Its unit sales volume grew 32% year-on-year in the quarter, while total smartphone sales in China fell 9%, according to Counterpoint.

Counterpoint analyst Mengmeng Zhang cited a lower starting price in China and the impact of U.S. sanctions against Huawei, Apple’s main competitor in the high-end segment, as factors.

Apple last ranked as China’s top-selling smartphone brand in late 2015, just after the company launched its iPhone 6, which attracted Chinese consumers with their large screens.

In 2021 as a whole, Apple ranked as China’s third best-selling smartphone brand with 16% of the market.

Vivo and Oppo, two Android handset brands under the privately-owned BBK Electronics, ranked first and second with 22% and 21% respectively.

Year on year, Apple’s unit sales rose 47% while Huawei’s tumbled 68%. Overall smartphone sales in China fell 2%, according to Counterpoint.

Lengthening upgrade cycles have presented an ongoing dilemma for Chinese smartphone brands looking to maintain growth at home, as consumers delay purchasing new devices.

A global chip and component shortage has meanwhile rattled the entire electronics industry, affecting pricing and margins for all hardware makers.

(Reporting by Josh Horwitz, Editing by Louise Heavens and John Stonestreet)

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Gold price remains down following 11.9% rise in U.S. new home sales – Kitco NEWS

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(Kitco News) – The gold market remains under pressure but is seeing little movement following stronger than expected U.S. new home sales numbers.

New home sales increased 11.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 811,000 units last month, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. The sales data came in much stronger than expected as consensus forecasts expected a sales rate of 759,000 homes.

The report also noted that sales are down 14% compared to December 2020.

The gold market is not seeing much reaction to the latest housing data. Spot gold futures last traded at $1,836.98 an ounce, down 0.60% on the day.

According to some market analysts, gold is seeing little reaction to the latest economic data as traders prepare for the Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy decision, which comes out in the afternoon. The U.S. central bank is expected to lay the groundwork for a rate hike in March.

Economists are closely watching the U.S. housing market. This sector could start to cool as rising interest rates will push mortgages higher.

Looking at some of the components of the latest housing report, the median sales price of new houses sold in December 2021 was $377,700. Meanwhile, the average sales price was $457,300. 

Looking at inventory levels, the report said that the supply of new homes sale as of the end of December totaled 403,000 homes, representing a 6-months supply.

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