Category: HR Resources
COVID-19 has changed the way we work, and for many of us, WHERE we work. And it looks like that change may be here to stay. More and more employers have announced that they intend to maintain a remote workforce, at least to some degree. And a recent survey by Robert Half found that 33% of employees would quit their job if they are forced to return to the office. So what does this mean for employers?
In December, Alberta passed a new Occupational Health and Safety Act (the New Act), which will replace the current Act in its entirety. The government has indicated that the New Act will come into force on September 1, 2021, but this is yet to be confirmed with an official proclamation.
Last week, Alberta announced that it will be seeking ideas to improve and update the Occupational Health & Safety Code (OHS Code). This means that there are more changes coming! These changes may include adding certain requirements to the OHS Code, which have been removed from the New Act (see below). If you want to provide input, you can do so through an online survey that is open until May 10, 2021.
In the meantime, Alberta employers will want to start getting ready for the New Act, which covers everything from workplace accidents to health and safety committees to refusing work.
The pandemic has exacerbated many barriers for persons with disabilities. And with employers focusing on COVID-19 health and safety, some may have forgotten about accessibility.
Accessible Standards Canada (ASC) published resources on accessible practices for returning to the workplace. While ASC is charged with developing accessibility standards for federally regulated workplaces, these tips may help any Canadian employer who must ensure a safe and accessible return to the workplace during the pandemic.
As Ontario emerges from its province-wide shutdown, many employers may again be considering the province’s requirements for re-opening their workplaces. Below is a quick checklist of what every employer must know. For further details, see the Ontario COVID-19 report in our Knowledge Centre.
HR compliance is hard. In our post about employment class actions, we wrote that “most violations of [employment standards] resulted from unintentional misunderstandings of the requirements of complex laws and regulations”. To demonstrate that point, we thought we’d share a few examples. These examples are either laws that are written in a way that makes them hard to understand, or they are requirements that are just hard to find. It is these issues – the way that these laws are written and organized – that makes HR compliance hard.
Class actions are a risk for every employer if you are not in compliance with employment standards legislation. While the answer to avoiding liability may seem easy (just comply!) its not always that straight-forward. Compliance is time consuming and it is complicated.
While posting requirements may not sound exciting, it is important for employers to know their obligations. Failure to comply with these requirements can lead to enforcement action, including penalties and fines.
These posting requirements vary somewhat from province to province and are imposed under both employment standards and health and safety legislation. We’ve provided a summary of the mandatory posting requirements in each province – in some cases additional posting requirements may be imposed. More »
Ed. Note: This post was updated to reflect Ontario’s expanded workplace inspections (which began with a “big box” store blitz).
To ensure its COVID-19 rules are being followed at essential businesses, the Ontario government announced that provincial offences officers will be conducting workplace inspections across the province.
Ed. Note: This post has been updated to reflect changing mask requirements.
Across Canada, provinces have instituted a range of mandatory mask orders in response to COVID-19. Now they are required in most Canadian workplaces.
Typically, where masks are required, there are exemptions for children, workers in areas not accessible to the public and able to maintain physical distancing, those with medical conditions preventing them from wearing masks, and situations when masks must be removed (e.g., treatments, services or physical activities requiring removal or identification). Many jurisdictions also have exemptions for courtrooms or proceedings before an administrative tribunal.
Here’s a quick recap of Canada’s mask requirements.
Changes are coming to Canada’s privacy legislation. The federal government introduced new legislation in Bill C-11 that will replace part of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
The new Act will be called the Consumer Privacy Protection Act, and while it is similar to PIPEDA in many ways, there are some significant changes. Those changes include significantly greater penalties for non-compliance with the Act, as well as some new requirements.
These amendments are important to every organization that collects, uses or discloses personal information in the course of commercial activities, and will apply across the country (subject to exemptions for provinces that have substantially similar legislation).