First Reference company logo

First Reference Talks

News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

decorative image

workplace

How do you spell layoff?

Layoffs are confusing for many more reasons than simply how to spell it (layoff, lay off, lay-off?) A layoff is a termination of employment; however, the use of the term layoff is usually understood to have a connotation of either resulting from a shortage of work or being temporary in nature, rather than permanent termination or for cause.

 

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

The business case for banishing the winter blues at work

Is it spring yet?  For some people, cold weather and lack of sunshine can trigger a type of depression more serious than winter blahs. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and other mental illnesses are rarely talked about at work and often carry serious stigma for those impacted.

 

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

Your organization needs a social media policy

More than 19 million Canadians check Facebook at least once per month and 14 million check every day. There are more than 200 million active users of Twitter, and around 400 million tweets sent daily. LinkedIn boasts 8 million Canadian users. These stats confirm what you probably already know: your employees are on social media. They are likely on social media multiple times a day, which means that they are likely using social media at work.

 

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

Working notice: A refresher

Most of the time when employers look to terminate an employee they opt for pay in lieu of notice. Yet pay in lieu of notice can be costly, it can discourage mitigation and it may hurt productivity (if a suitable replacement has yet to be found). An often overlooked approach is providing working notice that satisfies both statutory and common law obligations.

 

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

The low-down on workplace gossip

A recent poll from recruitment marketing firm Employment Office has revealed that most employees don’t appreciate office gossip. In fact, a surprising 63 percent feel that a colleague has taken gossip too far on more than one occasion. Not only does this put a damper on employee morale, office gossip also impacts productivity levels and can lead to resentment among some employees.

 

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

Six in ten workers around the world would telecommute full-time

Career advancement website HowDoIBecomeA.net recently featured an infographic on trends in telecommuting around the world. Apparently, one in five workers globally telecommutes frequently, and seven percent of workers work from home every day. Research shows that six in ten workers worldwide would telecommute full-time if their employer allowed it. Why do employers not allow it? In Canada, about 37 percent of workers say their employer needs them to be at their workplace…

 

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

‘If you see something, say something’ in the workplace

It’s been a month marred by violence and disruption. In recent days we have witnessed the troubling arrests of alleged terrorists in Toronto and Montreal, the heinous Boston Marathon Bombing, a violent takeover robbery and double-shooting at a Toronto bank, the assault of a Port Coquitlam, BC security guard, and sexual assaults at a Toronto community college to name a few. Each of these incidents had (or would have had) an impact on the workplace.

 

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

Learn the latest! — Responding to human rights harassment complaints: Guidelines from the HRTO

You are an employer that has just received a harassment complaint from an employee. The complaint is against a valued employee who you do not want to lose. But you are also worried that you will be faced with an expensive human rights complaint or lawsuit. What do you do?

 

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

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 […]

 

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Canada’s top 100 employers for 2013

Just this past month, the acclaimed Canada’s Top 100 Employers for 2013 list was released and an editorial was featured in the Globe and Mail. (You can see the full list here) Among the ranks were 3M Canada Co., Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada, Loblaws Cos. Ltd., and Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc. The list is diverse, awarding honours to a mixed bag of firms, from Technip Canada Ltd (124 employees) to Toronto-Dominion Bank (43, 850 employees). While the nature and size vary significantly, one factor remains constant across every organization: employee engagement. Human resource development is at the core of every listed organization’s values, and for good reason; human capital is considered their greatest asset.

 

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

Taking our kids to work day scheduled for November 7, 2012

take-your-kids-to-work

Since 1994 The Learning Partnership, a national charitable organization which promotes a strong public education system in Canada, has spearheaded the Take Our Kids to Work (“TOKTW”) program, which is now a Canada-wide program with more than 200,000 Grade 9 (or equivalent) students and over 75,000 employers taking part in 2011. The 2012 TOKTW Day is scheduled for November 7, 2012.

 

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

Headphones are the new office walls and bring about many challenges

I don't always wear headphones at work, but when I do, I leave them in long after the music or video has ended

Open-plan offices were first introduced in the 1950s and quickly became a popular way of arranging workspaces. Businesses have implemented the open-plan office to save space and money, to foster communication and collaboration, to allow for creative thinking among workers, and for some, to remove the imposed hierarchy (status implications of office type, e.g., the corner office) created by closed office spaces. However, it turns out that sometimes an open plan office means too much communication and a loss of privacy, leading to undesirable effects.

 

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

Excessive overtime doubles depression risk

A January 25, 2012, British research study indicates that people who work 11 or more hours a day have double the odds of becoming depressed compared with those who don’t work overtime. But why is this important for us as employers to know?

 

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

Safety and security for business travellers: a legal and moral imperative for Canadian employers, part 2

In some cases, business leaders fail to recognize that employee travel falls within the physical scope of workplace activities. In other cases, decision-makers believe that only those travelling to international high-risk destinations require any type of security protection. In most organizations, there is also a gap in knowledge when it comes to travel security, contributing to a lack of risk awareness and fragmented ownership of the function within the organization.

 

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

Occupational health and safety missteps often cost workers their lives

Nova Scotia is a wondrous place full of amazing–and dangerous–places. I visited “Canada’s Ocean Playgound” this summer and came home with a renewed appreciation for labour history and the reality that occupational health and safety missteps often cost workers their lives.

 

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

Previous Posts Next posts