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Ontario considers big changes to Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act

For the first time in over 20 years, the Province of Ontario has commissioned an independent report to review both the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Vacation entitlement changes in Nova Scotia; reduction in the employment insurance waiting period; and Ontario Ministry of Labour’s updated workplace harassment guide.

 

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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.

 

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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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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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FAQ: Do employees in Ontario who take maternity and parental leave for the one year accrue their regular vacation as per their employment contract?

Recently we received a question of whether employees in Ontario who take maternity and parental leave for the one year accrue their regular vacation as per their employment contract. If that were so, the inquirer wanted to know whether it was normal practice to allow those employees to take the accrued vacation right after their leave has ended (i.e., extending their time off).

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: An employee’s complaint regarding video surveillance cameras pointed toward her work area without the employer informing her of the installation; an FAQ that looks at an employer’s overpayment of vacation pay on a former employee’s final pay; and the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s plan to conduct targeted employment standards and occupational health and safety blitzes in workplaces across the province over the next year.

 

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The unpaid internship: Exploitation or opportunity?

The use of unpaid interns has come under increased media and political scrutiny. Fuelled by horror stories of young interns collapsing under extreme workplace pressures, the issue reached the political agenda. In the summer of 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Labour carried out a highly publicized workplace inspection blitz to determine if intern rights were being respected. Rules governing the appropriate use of interns in Ontario are not new. They had been in place long before the summer 2014 blitz. The rules are set out in section 1(2) of the Employment Standards Act.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: An FAQ in relation to an employer’s obligation to have a casual worker sign off on vacation pay; a case that looks at workplace investigations; and Ontario’s proposal of eliminating the “30% Rule” for pension investment.

 

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Commission sales employees: Two common errors to avoid

In the course of practice, employers have repeatedly made two fundamental mistakes when it comes to provision of commission pay: 1) not properly providing for vacation pay in the calculation of commission payments; and 2) failing to ensure commission payments comply with minimum wage requirements. While employer errors of this kind may be innocent or unintentional, significant financial liability can accrue as a result.

 

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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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Unlimited vacation: flashy gimmick or prudent policy?

Sir Richard Branson recently announced a change to Virgin’s vacation policy. According to virgin.com the policy: permits all salaried staff to take off whenever they want for as long as they want. There is no need to ask for prior approval and neither the employees themselves nor their managers are asked or expected to keep […]

 

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Navigating Ontario’s Employment Standards Act

Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (the ESA) sets out the minimum terms of employment for most employees in Ontario. It is a complex law that is difficult to understand. An employer cannot contract out of these minimum standards. Did you know your organization must post a Minister of Labour poster entitled “What You Should Know About The Ontario Employment Standards Act” in your workplace?

 

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Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with changes to the Canada Labour Code; poor record keeping; and obligation to pay overtime to managers.

 

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The Ontario Ministry of Labour is coming for retailers: 5 common ESA violations

The Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) conducts inspections to ensure compliance with the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). The MOL targets employers in (as they put it) “sectors where there is a history of employment standards violations and where vulnerable workers are employed.” Thankfully, at least the MOL announces the targeted sector so that employers can prepare. This time, the target is the retail industry.

 

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