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Pensions and Benefits

Don’t take a chance on it: The uncertainty of ESA-only termination clauses

In January 2017, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released its decision in Cook v. Hatch upholding a less than perfect termination clause that failed to reference statutory severance pay or provide for continued health benefits during the statutory notice period. A month later, the Court of Appeal responded with its decision in Wood v. Fred Deeley Imports Ltd. where it overturned a motion judge’s ruling upholding a similar termination provision. And so, the age old debate about the enforceability of ESA-only termination provisions rages on.

 

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EI benefits: New parent, more time off and more money?

To implement these measures, Budget 2017 proposes to amend the Employment Insurance Act. The Government also proposes to amend the Canada Labour Code to ensure that workers in federally regulated sectors have the job protection they need while they are receiving caregiving, parental or maternity benefits. Workers in provincially regulated sectors will have to wait and see if provincial legislation will also be changed to extend job protection for 18 months. Without job protection, the flexibility to receive EI benefits over a longer period of time will be meaningless.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: an employee who described their workplace as a “sh*t hole” on Facebook was found to be justly terminated; how to prepare for marijuana legalization in Canada; and a pension and benefit plan provider who breached privacy law, causing an employee to lose life insurance coverage.

 

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Ontario Court of Appeal suggest deference to trial judge in interpretation of termination clause

The Ontario Court of Appeal weighed in, to some extent, on the hot issue of enforceability of termination clauses in a recent decision. In this case, the clause at issue was written in French. The Applicant argued that the Motion Judge’s interpretation of the clause only referred to “notice” and not “severance” and therefore the termination clause was an unlawful attempt to contract out of the Employment Standards Act because it did not expressly provide for the payment of severance and there are a number of cases suggesting such clauses are void.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Implementation of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan; a human rights matter that addresses accommodation and mental disability; and a workplace safety and insurance matter that addresses modified work and entitlement to loss of earnings benefits.

 

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Danger ahead: Beware of changes to employment agreements

To appreciate the dangers of varying employment terms, we must start with the foundations of contract law. First, a contract requires that each party receive a benefit (consideration). Second, if the parties agree to a variation of contract, but consideration is not received by both parties, Courts will consider the new contract an “unenforceable unilateral variation”. Third…

 

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Five benefits of workforce analytics that will surprise and delight you

Today, HR Leaders make use of analytics solutions to realize deeper insight into the workforce in order to fuel evidence-based decisions and improve business outcomes. While the most obvious benefits are related to time savings, dollars saved and earned, percentage changes, and proof of ROI, there are less tangible benefits of workforce analytics that leaders often discover after they have started with their solution.

 

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Most-viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with differential treatment in the workplace, how an employee’s dishonesty and breach of confidentiality during a workplace investigation led to termination for cause and how a settlement was easily characterized as a retiring allowance.

 

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Canada’s top 100 employers for 2013

Just this past month, the acclaimed Canada’s Top 100 Employers for 2013 list was released and an editorial was featured in the Globe and Mail. (You can see the full list here) Among the ranks were 3M Canada Co., Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada, Loblaws Cos. Ltd., and Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc. The list is diverse, awarding honours to a mixed bag of firms, from Technip Canada Ltd (124 employees) to Toronto-Dominion Bank (43, 850 employees). While the nature and size vary significantly, one factor remains constant across every organization: employee engagement. Human resource development is at the core of every listed organization’s values, and for good reason; human capital is considered their greatest asset.

 

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Bill to protect workers safety at service stations

A Private Member’s Bill, 124, An Act to amend various statutes with respect to worker safety at service stations was introduced on September 20, 2012, seeking to protect gas station attendant’s safety and their income.

 

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HR metrics: Linking qualitative and quantitative measurement

Last month I promised a description of a metric which starts to take organizations deeper into the insight they need to be successful and to show real results. True to my promise here it is:

 

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Dealing with stock options on dismissal

A recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision dealt with a number of issues arising from the dismissal without cause or notice of a senior vice-president of an investment company. One of the more difficult issues addressed at trial, and considered by the Court of Appeal, was the trigger date for the right of the employer to re-purchase the employee’s two percent interest in the company.

 

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The health and workplace benefits of team sports

Team activities, whether organized or informal, offer numerous health benefits—both physical and mental—they can be a perfect fit for enhancing workplace wellness.

 

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The latest on employer health benefits and services

Last year I dropped the ball on Sanofi-Aventis’ annual health care survey—in fact, it’s still sitting on my desk under a pile of other things! So this year, I’m making it a priority, and getting this brief post on the report to you right away, before I file a more in-depth article for HRinfodesk.

 

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Workplace wellness programs: what are they all about?

Typically, wellness means “the condition of good physical and mental health”, but what is a “workplace wellness program”? What are the advantages of having this kind of program, and how does an employer start one up?

 

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