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Online HR resources: Tips for more effective use

Why reinvent the wheel? Drafting employment contracts, policies, termination letters and releases based on a past precedent is often a good place to start. It is usually both time and cost efficient, and for someone unfamiliar with the document, it’s a great learning opportunity. When using a precedent or online resource, here are the top 3 tips to ensure the document is legally enforceable in your workplace.

 

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Termination clauses – The legal debate

It appears that the saga of judicial interpretation and consideration of termination clauses will continue, with predictably unpredictable results. Courts will enforce termination clauses that limit an individual’s entitlement to notice of dismissal, but the onus will be on the employer to show that the clause should be enforced.

 

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Employment standards: Risks of paying employees “under the table”

Before hiring your first employee, an employer needs to educate itself on the various requirements under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (and other legislation such as the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (the “WSIA”) and Occupational Health and Safety Act­) and the nuances associated with termination of an employee’s employment. Although there will be some upfront costs associated with record keeping, registering for insurance pursuant to the WSIA and learning about employment legislation, the benefits of such proactivity will pay off in the future when issues inevitably arise, even if you only have one or two employees.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: The Federal government`s introduction of legislation for a stronger Canada Pension Plan and a more secure retirement for Canadians; a case where the Ontario Labour Relations Board had to decide whether a worker was an employee, and not an independent contractor, as under the Employment Standards Act, 2000; employer compensation budgets for 2017.

 

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Ontario judge strikes down yet another termination clause

Some employment contracts have termination clauses which state that an employee will receive notice of termination “in accordance with the Employment Standards Act” or words to that effect. The purpose of this clause is to take away the employee’s right to common law “reasonable” notice of termination. In 2000 an Ontario Superior Court judge concluded that this kind of language meant that an employer was only required to provide the employee with the minimum notice of termination stipulated in the ESA. Advantage employers.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: a case where an employee was deemed to be constructively dismissed after a temporary layoff; a decision that leaves employers questioning their bonus policies; and salary projections for 2017 released by The Conference Board of Canada.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: a case where an employer’s appeal to not pay unpaid wages and termination pay was somewhat successful; a matter where an arbitrator issued very different decisions when it came to two employees who grieved their terminations; and two cases that address employee entitlement to damages in lieu of a bonus on termination.

 

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Gender wage gap has not been closing: Report to the Ontario government

The gender wage gap steering committee recently submitted its final report to the Ontario government. The main finding was that the gender wage gap has not been closing and the government must take action. Further, the committee stated that there is much that employers can do immediately in order to ameliorate the situation.

 

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The standard of decency

I have an internal debate with myself over whether most of the new or amended legal obligations answer a real need of employers and employees, or are borne of a need of legislators to justify their existence, or appear to addressing crises which really aren’t. And just as soon as I have convinced myself that additional laws and regulations are, for the most part, too onerous to justify their limited value, I read numerous news reports on the prevalency of wage theft in Ontario and workplace employment standards violations.

 

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Employers should take note – The Interim Report on Ontario’s “Changing Workplaces Review” is now available for comment

The Interim Report kicks off the next phase of the province–wide consultation on modernizing Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 and Labour Relations Act, 1995. Employers should note that August 31, 2016 is the deadline for submissions on the Personal Emergency Leave provisions of the ESA and October 14, 2016 is the deadline for all other submissions.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: employment agreements that are signed after employees start work; how employers can prepare for the CPP expansion; Ontario Ministry of Labour’s interim report on the current labour and employment law framework.

 

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Employer risk 101 – Ministry enforcement of the ESA

If you are reading an employment law blog you already know that employers have legal obligations under the Ontario Employment Standards Act. The top five violations for the fiscal year 2014/2015, as compiled by the Ministry of Labour, were with respect to…

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: legislative amendments that expanded the access to Employment Insurance benefits; a case where a former employee was awarded six months’ compensation in lieu of notice after she had declined a severance package offered to her by the employer; further recent updates regarding the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

 

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First Monday in August a.k.a Civic Holiday: Public holiday or not?

In most parts of Canada, the first Monday of August is recognized as a holiday. This year, the first Monday is August 1. Although most commonly referred to as “Civic Holiday”, the holiday is referred to differently across Canada. The name of the holiday is not the only thing that differs between the provinces and territories, the legal status of the holiday also varies. That is, in some provinces and territories, the first Monday in August is considered a statutory (public) holiday, while in others it is not.

 

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Can an employee “sign away” their human rights?: Brown v. Prime Communications Canada Inc.

The question of “can an employee “sign away” their human rights?” became relevant in a recent case. After signing a release with her employer, the Applicant filed an application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario alleging discrimination with respect to employment because of sex contrary to the Human Rights Code.

 

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