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Pensions and Benefits

HRTO: Terminating benefit plans for employees 65 and over is unconstitutional

Talos v Grand Erie District School Board involved an employee whose extended health, dental and life insurance benefits were terminated by his employer, Grand Erie District School Board, when he turned age 65, although he continued to work on a full-time basis.

 

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Differential treatment in pension and benefit plans based on date of hire now prohibited in Québec (or is it really?)

health-benefits

There is no question that Bill 176, An Act to amend the Act respecting labour standards, removes some flexibility in plan design going forward. That being said, there are still ways to structure plan design changes that will achieve the employer’s objectives without running afoul of the prohibition under Bill 176

 

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Q&A: Pro-rating personal emergency leave benefit for contract employees

In this conference Q&A, we address the application of personal emergency leave for contract employees.

 

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Canada Day, statutory (public) holiday

Canada Day is a celebration of Confederation in 1867 and is a statutory (public) holiday in all provinces. This year, Canada Day falls on Sunday, July 1, a non-working day for most. So, what day will employees have off work? Most employers may have opted to give employees the following day, Monday, July 2 as the day off in lieu of Sunday, but some businesses may have chosen the previous Friday (June 29).

 

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Ontario pension reforms – Where are they now?

The pace of pension reforms in Ontario has been fast-moving since the release of the Ontario Budget on March 28, 2018. Among other things, the Budget announced continued work on the new funding rules for defined benefit pension plans and related increases to coverage under the Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund, a consultation on a new funding framework for target benefit multi-employer pension plans, consultations regarding new protections for plan members affected by employer insolvencies, and continued work on the new pension and financial services regulator, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority.

 

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Q&A: Bill 148 increases vacation entitlements for all employees

In partnership with Stringer LLP, First Reference Inc. recently hosted the 19th Annual Employment Law Conference on June 12, 2018, where we discussed the latest legal developments on topics including practical compliance strategies in light of Bill 148. While the law is clear in theory, its application tells many stories as employers and HR professionals deal in the practical world of differing employment dynamics. In this conference Q&A, we address the increases to vacation entitlements brought forth by Bill 148.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with an Ontario labour arbitration decision in which the arbitrator ruled personal emergency leave entitlement is in addition to any floater days allowed under a collective agreement, a recent HRTO decision which held there is no absolute right to use medical marijuana in the workplace, and a recent survey that found job seekers, while enticed by work from home options, are also aware of the pitfalls.

 

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Celebrating National Aboriginal Day

Thursday June 21, 2018, marks National Aboriginal Day in Canada. This day of recognition and celebration honours the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

 

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There’s a tidal shift happening in human rights – Are employers ready?

The intolerance brought on by the #MeToo movement is being mirrored in Human Rights Tribunal decisions across the country as awards for damages relating to sexual harassment show an upward trend. There are also other changes brewing in human rights law, particularly in Ontario. A recent decision on age discrimination and benefit coverage may require significant amendments to employer benefit plans and resulting costs to employers.

 

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June 10 is Happy Tax Freedom Day 2018!

Tax Freedom Day 2017

The Fraser Institute recently announced that June 10 is Tax Freedom Day 2018 (although the date varies depending on where you live in Canada). According to the Fraser Institute calculations, from that day onward, employees are finally working for themselves and their families. Moreover, if you had to pay all your taxes up front to different levels of government, you are now in the clear to keep the rest of your earnings until a new year begins.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with the bill that will legalize marijuana and the new smoke-free rules related to cannabis, as well as a successful challenge to the right to terminate group benefits for employees aged 65 and older.

 

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Proposed changes to the Quebec Act respecting labour standards: What employers need to know

On March 20, the Quebec Minister of Labour introduced Bill 176, amending the Act respecting Labour Standards (the “LSA”). The Bill proposes sweeping changes to the LSA.

 

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Victoria Day, public (statutory) holiday in Canada

public holiday on non-working day

In Canada, Monday, May 21, 2018 is recognized as a public (statutory) holiday known as Victoria Day, except in the Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island). In Quebec, the public holiday is referred to as National Patriots’ Day (Journée nationale des patriotes).

 

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Termination of employment does not terminate ability to apply for LTD benefits

The case discussed in this article is important because it is a common concern of those who become disabled that they will cease to have access to LTD coverage if their employer terminates their employment before LTD benefits commence. What this decision appears to stand for is the proposition that it does not matter when employment ends, it matters when the injury or illness commenced.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with pay transparency legislation, the taxability of employee discounts and privacy during the hiring process.

 

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