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Absenteeism

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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Presenteeism in the workplace

Presenteeism results in productivity loss, workplace epidemics, or poor health and exhaustion, which can lead to higher absenteeism for longer periods or accidents. Whether it is a physical or mental ailment, employees should be staying home when they are unable to be present at work. Being physically at work is different than being present at work. It is one thing to show up at work; it’s another thing to be actually productive while at work.

 

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When is it time to hire independent HR consultants?

A friend recently told me about his (manufacturing) workplace where most of the equipment is broken, production lousy and new employees last “sometimes four hours, sometimes a week” but rarely longer than that. He reported that the business owner had recently woken up and hired an independent consultant to take a look and make recommendations for the business. I don’t know if this company has any HR personnel, but many small to medium companies do not have dedicated HR personnel, save and except for payroll, and may have a general manager or owner who is oblivious to what goes on the shop floor. So what are the warning signs of a workplace that needs attention?

 

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Arbitrator upholds termination for excessive absenteeism

A recent arbitration decision upheld the termination of an employee for excessive but innocent absenteeism.

 

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‘Tis the season – World Cup soccer has returned, and so too may absences

During previous World Cups, many employees including myself battled with the World Cup Flu. Well, employers should prepare for another outbreak starting June 12, 2014, when FIFA World Cup Brazil begins, and will go on for about a month.

 

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The business case for banishing the winter blues at work

Is it spring yet?  For some people, cold weather and lack of sunshine can trigger a type of depression more serious than winter blahs. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and other mental illnesses are rarely talked about at work and often carry serious stigma for those impacted.

 

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Employers are wondering if they can ever require that an employee provide sick notes

“Bosses shouldn’t ask sick workers for doctor’s notes: OMA”; that was the recent headline in the Toronto Star. The press release from the Ontario Media Association has prompted reactions ranging from confusion to controversy and outrage, and it has left employers wondering if they can ever require that an employee provide “sick notes”.

 

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Most-viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with expanding their disability management programs; a zero tolerance approach to a grievance arising from a case of sexual harassment and assault; and the Canada Pension Plan 2014 contribution rates,

 

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What responsibility does your company have to workers with cancer?

Cancer is the leading cause of premature death in Canada and is one of the leading causes of death in the country, responsible for approximately 30 percent of deaths each year. Forty percent of Canadians will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime. As a result, employers must deal with both the risk and effects of both occupational and non-occupational cancers in their workplace.

 

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The DSM-5 – Increased costs for employers?

The DSM-5 has arrived. Despite what employers and disability providers may think about the changes, there is no choice but to deal with this revised and authoritative text on mental disorders.

 

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Most-viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with the legal implications in drafting a bonus plan, understanding public-private sector differences in work absences and updated rules for electronically filing records of employment.

 

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Can employers in Canada refuse to hire smokers?

Recently, an Ottawa-based tech company called Momentous Corp. has attracted national attention because it implemented a blanket policy against hiring smokers and advertises that it will hire non-smokers only. In order to reduce its health costs, Momentous prohibits the hiring of or allowing any smoking on its property during working hours…

 

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Wild workplaces making headlines

Let’s be honest. As HR professionals, we’ve all probably seen our fair share of oddities in the workplace. From unusual employee excuses for missing work to other hilarious mishaps, some workplaces are anything but boring. Over the past couple of months, the news has been flooded with stories of ridiculous happenings within the workplace. Check out some of the craziest ones of the bunch:

 

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Winter-weather policy, do you need one?

Our last poll asked readers: Do you have a winter-weather policy to handle challenges the weather will bring that might prevent employees from getting to work? Out of 319 respondents, 161 (50.47%) of respondents said no and 90 (28.21%) said yes (29/9.9% of respondents already cover it in policy). Only 68 (21.32%) answered they did not know they needed one. So do you need one or not?

 

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Psychological health & safety in the workplace: Now more important than ever

As of January 2013, Canada is now the first country in the world to adopt a national standard for mental health in the workplace. Several health and safety and human rights legislation across Canada already address providing safe and healthy workplaces, the prevention of harassment that includes bullying, sexual harassment, and discrimination based on disability which includes mental illnesses. However, this new standard now gives employers and employees support to make their workplaces psychologically safe and healthy.

 

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