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News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

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“Safeguarding” personal information clarified

You may be wondering, what exactly is “safeguarding” personal information? Thankfully, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has clarified how safeguarding can reduce the risk of privacy breaches.

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Current and 2017 payroll rates; a case where the Johnstone test is challenged; and an FAQ that addresses Employment Standards Act exemptions, specifically vacation.

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Workplace investigations that are required or recommended

Until the last few years formal workplace investigations were relatively uncommon. Recent changes to the law however have totally changed the legal landscape relating to workplace investigations. To reduce legal exposure and save costs, I believe most employers should ensure that at least one employee receives workplace investigation training. This blog discusses four scenarios where workplace investigations are required or recommended.

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Overtime entitlement: Employee travel

Under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and Ontario Regulation 285/01, “work” is deemed to be performed when an employee is travelling on business, even if that time is non-productive and outside normal business hours. Here are some ways to minimize that liability.

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Illness or disability during the notice period

Interestingly, the events following termination of employment do not affect an employee’s entitlement to notice. This includes the situation where an employee is terminated and shortly thereafter becomes ill or disabled. Our courts have dealt with this situation by suggesting a longer notice period may be warranted because the employee may find it more difficult to find alternate employment.

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The need for clear warning before dismissal

I have often discussed the need for warnings in the context of summary dismissal. While some situations will justify dismissal based upon a single incident, in many cases our courts and arbitrators will require progressive discipline. Whatever the steps may be, it is critical that the messaging to the subject employee be clear: the conduct or behavior is unacceptable, and further instances will lead to discipline, which can include termination for cause.

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I take it back: Withdrawing resignation

What should you do if an employee asks to rescind his or her resignation? If you really love that employee, you say “Great! Welcome back.” But if this isn’t your favourite employee, you may have an obligation to undo the resignation anyway. In order to decide whether or not to allow them to withdraw the resignation, there are a few factors that you should consider.

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: An overview of how to deal with public holidays that fall on the weekends (non-working days); current and 2017 payroll rates; and proposed legislation that would amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act to provide for the establishment of employer “health and safety management systems”.

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Just cause termination: Employers need “reasonable basis”

The Court acknowledged that an employer may allege just cause, and later abandon that claim at any time. The Court held that it wouldn’t be appropriate to penalize an employer for changing its mind if it initially had a reasonable basis to believe it had just cause to terminate an employee. As such, it is important to investigate and document any evidence of employee misconduct, and to act accordingly.

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The power of data visualization

With so much HR and Talent data at our disposal, its critical that we come up with ways to distill the volume into manageable and meaningful chunks of information. A key way to do this is via data visualization. It seems common sense, but why then do we still attend or present at meetings with slides consisting of rows and columns of numbers, or text–heavy slides with a crude chart or two as illustration of the points? Why do annual reports favour flat data, charts and lists, and heavy text explanations?

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Dealing with public holidays on non-working days

public holiday on non-working day

This year Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fall on non-working days for many employees. Christmas this year is celebrated on Sunday December 25, 2016 and New Years Day on Sunday January 1, 2017. Many employers are looking for information specific to their jurisdiction, on how to deal with public holidays on non-working days, like the weekends.

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Disability as a variable – A new optic

Looking at an Ontario Human Rights Commission discussion paper released in 2001, the aspects that make what is called intersectionality so appealing to a modern view of identity is that it does not pigeon hole a person as being represented by a sole code ground, or identity that is legally protected against discrimination.

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Pay equity: Closing the wage gap

Despite the dramatic increase of women in the workforce and the existence of pay equity legislation, gender wage inequality remains a persistent problem in Canada. As part of an ongoing study on gender disparity for the Globe and Mail, Statistics Canada reported in March 2016 that a woman working full-time makes 73.5 cents for every dollar a man makes. The article also notes that Canada has the eighth highest gender wage gap among 34 industrial countries according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

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Resignation: Best practices for employers

Cessation of an employee’s employment can happen by way of termination of employment by the employer or resignation by the employee. In the case of a voluntary resignation, while the employer may feel as though it is losing a beneficial employee, the upside is that the employer is not liable for the dreadful “reasonable notice of termination”. This blog discusses some of the best practices for employers when handling a resignation.

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: A matter where the court had to determine the enforceability of a promoted employee’s new employment contract, particularly the termination clause; current and 2017 payroll rates; and PRPP legislation that is now in force in Ontario.

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