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News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

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Welcome to 2018 with new employment and labour law rules and obligations across Canada

As most of you already know, a number of new or amended laws and regulations came into effect on January 1 or will come into force later in 2018 across Canada, including marijuana legalization and higher minimum wages in Ontario, Alberta and other jurisdictions. Here is a brief reminder of the new or amended rules you need to be aware of and implement to ensure compliance.

 

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Top 10 most-read First Reference Talks blog posts for 2017

This year on the First Reference Talks blog we’ve been covering some of the hot topics in employment and labour law and employee management. Apart from the issue of cannabis in the workplace, there seems to be varied topics making it on the list this year. Here’s the full top 10 list of the most-read First Reference Talks blog posts from our regular bloggers for 2017:

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Canada Pension Plan 2018 rates and employment insurance benefits and parental leave.

 

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Father fired for seeking parental leave awarded $62,000 in damages

In Ontario, as a new parent, you are entitled to take unpaid time off work for up to 37 weeks to take care of your newborn child (i.e., parental leave). This right applies to both parents, and the employer is legally required to provide you with your old job at the end of the leave. The employer is also not permitted to retaliate, or punish you in any way, for taking the time off to spend with your family. Unfortunately employers often consciously violate these rights and returning employees frequently find that either they no longer have a job, or that the job responsibilities or pay have changed.

 

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EI waiting period changes January 1, 2017

As reported by Yosie Saint-Cyr in the October 24, 2016 edition of HR Infodesk, the federal Employment Insurance Act was amended on June 22, 2016, in part to decrease the waiting period for benefits to commence from two weeks to one week. The new waiting period is to commence on January 1, 2017. The change, in effect, reduces the total benefit entitlement period under EI, although it doesn’t change the maximum benefit period, or weeks of benefits payable.

 

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New parents, new responsibilities: Help for employers with post-parental leave concerns

A recent Globe and Mail article highlights the fears that new parents face as they contemplate returning to work after a parental leave. It also highlights the issues employers must address when those employees return to work. Since our employer clients often raise questions about post–leave matters, we would like to offer some helpful tips on this issue.

 

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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 announcement regarding changes to parental leave rules; a case that looks at discrimination based on disability and the accommodation provided by the employer; and an FAQ that addresses whether employees on maternity or parental leave are allowed to extend their leave using accrued vacation.

 

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Is one year paid parental leave the new norm?

On Tuesday, August 4 – the same day that Netflix stock hit a record high, the company announced a decision through its blog to provide paid maternity and paternity leave for its employees, up to one year.

 

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Is the failure to provide parental leave “top-up” benefits discriminatory?

In Adekayode v Halifax (Regional Municipality), a Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission Board of Inquiry recently considered a complaint alleging that an employer’s failure to provide a top-up of employment insurance benefits for biological parents during a parental leave was discriminatory.

 

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Arbitrator rules profanity during telephone call with manager insufficient to constitute ‘just cause’ for dismissal

Vice-Chair Ian Anderson of the Ontario Labour Relations Board recently ruled in Canadian Union of Skilled Workers v. Hydro One Inc., 2014 CanLII 15069, a construction industry grievance that the employee’s use of profanity during a telephone call with his manager did not constitute conduct sufficient to justify a dismissal for cause.

 

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Nova Scotia to increase access to pregnancy/parental leave in 2015

On September 2, 2013, Premier Darrell Dexter announced plans to amend the Labour Standards Code to allow someone employed for six months with an employer to qualify for pregnancy/parental leave.

 

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Understanding the rights of pregnant employees in Ontario

Pregnant employees or those employees intending to become pregnant, enjoy significant protection under various provincial and federal statutes. This article will explore the protections provided by the Ontario Human Rights Code, Employment Standards Act, and the Employment Insurance Act.

 

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Most-viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with whether employee referral fees should be included in income, sickness EI benefits for employees on parental leave and positive strategies for employees with arthritis.

 

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Returning from parental leave and accommodating family status

After 20 weeks of parental leave, I’m back in front of my computer, checking my email, catching up on workplace changes, putting together a schedule and generally getting back into the swing of things. Per the law, my employer has reinstated me to the same position I left (at the same wage), although with some accommodation to ease my transition, and I will no doubt be expected to perform up to my previous standard. I know I’ll need the help!

 

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Workplace accommodation: what about before birth?

When an employee is going to have a child, an employer needs to prepare for the worker’s eventual leave of absence, particularly if the employee is the mother, but increasingly for fathers, too. But important changes happen to expecting employees long before their baby is born, and employers should understand this and consider how these changes will affect the workplace.

 

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