First Reference company logo

First Reference Talks

News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

decorative image

Employment Standards legislation

Rewriting employment standards: Gearing up for policy revisions

On Wednesday May 24, 2017, Alberta introduced Bill 17, Fair and Family Friendly Workplace Act, which is its first major overhaul of employment standards in that province since 1996. The proposed amendments to the Employment Standards Code include unpaid leaves for employees (including domestic violence leave), reduced qualification periods for leaves, increased overtime banking rates and amended vacation entitlements, to name a few.

 

, , , , , , , , , ,

HR law and payroll 2017, what is in store?

At the beginning of a new year, it’s good to wonder what is in store in 2017 for HR law and payroll? Let’s discuss and provide practical steps HR and payroll can take to prepare for these trends and changes.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why bother with employment contracts?

I had a client recently ask why he would bother going through the cost and efforts of doing up an employment contract, if he was going to have to fight with ex–employees’ lawyers and pay out a package in a without cause situation anyway. Good question.

 

, , , , , , , , ,

Busting myths about employments standards: What employers need to know about overtime and vacation

When it comes to employment standards legislation, employers must remember that just because an employee agrees to something, that does not make it lawful. More importantly, parties cannot contract out of employment standards requirements, and employers that breach employment standards legislation expose themselves to significant risk, even if the employee in question appears to have acquiesced. This often arises when it comes to overtime or vacation.

 

, , , , , , , ,

Working through the notice period

Let’s begin with a point that comes as a surprise to many employees and employers: there is nothing legally wrong with providing an employee with working notice of their dismissal and requiring that they continue to attend at work and perform their duties throughout the notice period.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Will you get a February holiday?

As of 2015, six provinces have implemented statutory holidays (also known as public holidays) in February.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How much notice of resignation must an employee provide?

It is a commonly held belief that employees must provide two weeks’ notice when they resign from their employment. However, this blanket statement does not necessarily reflect the applicable legal requirements. While two weeks’ notice is appropriate in many cases, some employees may be required to provide less notice, and other employees may be required […]

 

, , , , , , , ,

Avoiding common employment law misconceptions

Small to midsize employers, many HR professionals, and many lawyers proceed based upon completely inaccurate understandings of how employment law works. While there are many examples of this, there are three that I see regularly in my practice: the myth that the severance entitlement in Canada is one month per year, regardless of other factors […]

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Employee v. contractor

The distinction between employees and contractors is an issue that will not go away. As I have written about in the past, there seems to be a trend toward giving workers the option of being treated as an employee or a contractor, though the reality is that this impacts nothing other than how they are paid.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Slaw: Employment law and First nation band

In Canada, jurisdiction over employment law is normally within the authority of each province or territory, unless the employer or activity falls under the federal jurisdiction. This is a straightforward distinction under normal circumstances, but, in certain areas, it remains unclear. This was the case in Fox Lake Cree Nation v. Anderson, 2013

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How much termination notice do you give a 70 year old?

Assessing how much notice of termination a particular employee is entitled to is a challenge most employers would like to avoid. As those of you who deal with the issue on a regular basis know, employment standards legislation sets out the minimum amount of notice, but it will almost never be sufficient unless the employee has an enforceable contract that limits them to the statutory amounts. In most cases, the common law will require that an employer provide “reasonable notice”, and though there are many myths, there are no easy ways to determine what is reasonable.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

There really is no such thing as a free lunch

The New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board recently decided that an employee was entitled to a paid lunch break because he was working on a boat which not only prevented him from leaving the “worksite” for his lunch break, but also left him operating the boat during his lunch and effectively, under the control of […]

 

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Family Day: A public holiday in most jurisdictions

All jurisdictions in Canada provide for a number of public (also called statutory or general holidays) holidays each year. Some are common to all jurisdictions; others are specific to individual provinces and territories. This year, Family Day falls on Monday February 20, 2012.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Adoptive mothers not allowed maternity leave

Under employment standards legislation, birth mothers receive a total of 52 weeks of leave when they combine maternity (17 weeks) and parental leave (35 weeks), and are entitled to receive a total of 50 weeks of EI benefits (15 weeks maternity, 35 weeks parental) for that period. However, the same benefits are not available to adoptive mothers, who only receive 37 weeks of parental leave and 35 weeks of EI benefits. Now a new movement to challenge the law to provide equal EI benefits to adoptive parents is gaining momentum…

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Previous Posts