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Human Resources PolicyPro

Major issues with minor provisions – Child leaves

Ontario’s Bill 148 “Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017″ was introduced on June 1, 2017 and it is assumed that with the Liberal majority, it will pass into law in the fall. The bill proposes a few changes to leave entitlements in Ontario which are a step in the right direction but which in my opinion still contain an inexplicable flaw, common in most provinces.

 

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Interview with the Chief Commissioner of the OHRC on gender specific dress code

With the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s recent position on gender-specific dress codes, and with the increase of attention in the news regarding bars and restaurants requiring women to wear high heels, low-cut tops and short skirts, I thought it would be beneficial for our readers to get Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane’s take on the issue of gender specific and sexualized dress codes in the workplace, and what employers should be doing to ensure that their dress codes are in compliance with Ontario’s Human Rights Code.

 

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Tempest in a teapot – How to make your employees boil over

A recent news report stated that DavidsTea, and several popular retailers, have been asked by multiple US jurisdictions to provide information regarding the use of “on-call” shifts. According to the article “DavidsTea under fire for scheduling of staff,” the practice of “on-call” scheduling requires employees to call in to the employer prior to shift to confirm if they are required to come in.

 

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Don’t take your kids to work today

On the heels of the most exciting baseball season in over twenty years for Canadian baseball fans, a few of us are paying more attention to spring training. And although there is little comparison between the working conditions of major leaguers and the rest of us, the “retirement” of Adam LaRoche from the Chicago White Sox, allegedly because he was asked not to bring his son to the clubhouse as much, raises the question of whether it is ever appropriate to bring your kids to work.

 

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Warming up for work

A friend recently mentioned that his workplace was implementing a warm-up/stretching requirement at the beginning of shift. It appeared that the program was being met with some raised eyebrows and even some verbal resistance from employees. The workplace was one of physical labour and so, once you get past the novelty of the idea, common sense suggests this may be a good idea.

 

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2016 – Looking forward, looking back

As the first blog post of the year, I thought it apt to first wish everyone a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year and second, to take the opportunity to take a quick look back and a long look forward at what might be coming down the road this year in human resources policy.

 

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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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Do you need a transgender policy?

The recent well-publicized transgender celebrities, and Emmy wins for the Amazon show Transparent, have put gender identity, gender expression, transsexual and transgender issues on the social and political agenda. Most employers should already have general anti-discrimination, anti-harassment and accommodation policies recognizing protected human rights grounds. So if an employer doesn’t have a transsexual or transgender employee, how important is it to have a specific policy dealing with transsexual, transgender, gender identity and gender expression? For some employers, it may be essential.

 

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Putting employee handbooks in their proper organizational context

Does your organization have an employee handbook?  Are you thinking about creating one?  Do employees and managers have questions or conflicting beliefs about your current handbook?  The following overview discusses what an employee handbook is not, highlights the key purpose of an effective handbook and outlines some tips for effective employee handbooks.

 

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Recognizing obesity as a disability – Slippery slope or basic human dignity?

On December 18, 2014, the European Court of Justice decided that while obesity, in itself, is not necessarily a disability, where obesity hinders a person’s ability to engage in “full and effective participation” in the workplace, it could warrant the protection of disability legislation. So what is the status of obesity as a disability in Canada?

 

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It’s time for Saskatchewan employers to review HR policies

On April 29, 2014 the Saskatchewan government finally proclaimed the Saskatchewan Employment Act to be in force. The most notable changes in the Saskatchewan Employment Act in respect of employment standards are the following:

 

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The case of the lunch bag letdown – Should all employee thefts be treated equally?

It has probably happened to most of you. It’s noon, you’re hungry, and that amazing Dagwood-esque sandwich that you got up early to prepare for your lunch is waiting for you in the workplace fridge. Except that it’s not, it’s been stolen, scarpered, misappropriated by one of your colleagues.

 

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Valentine’s Day is coming – Is romance in the air at your workplace?

Just like back in high school a workplace gossip mill goes into overdrive at the hint of a workplace romance, or even better, a messy breakup.

 

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How weather extremes may affect the workplace

It is a rare day when Canadians are not thinking about weather, especially in January. Canada is a country of extremes in the weather department and although employers in Victoria, British Columbia may have completely different weather considerations than employers in Newfoundland and Labrador or the Northwest Territories, all employers should consider how weather extremes may affect the workplace.

 

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Conflicted about the acceptance or giving of gifts to clients or customers

Who doesn’t like to give or receive a gift, especially around holiday times? It is common practice (even expected practice) in some industries to recognize clients or customers with some sort of gift. Employers should ensure that it has adequate policies to inform and advise employees of the conduct and behaviour that is expected of them in the context of the industry in which the employer operates.

 

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