Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.
Issue link: http://digital.hrreporter.com/i/745338
PM40065782 RO9496 October 17, 2016 INSIDE CAUTION AHEAD Salary forecasts for 2017 are the lowest they've been in years. So what does that mean for pay for performance? Notice entitlement Nova Scotia case looks at termination clause page 5 Body language How to stand out, win trust and gain credibility page 10 Tough talk Best practices for dif cult conversations page 16 page 13 Credit: Chris Wattie (Reuters) Subscribe Today! CALL TOLL FREE 1-800-387-5164 ONLINE AT www.employmentlawtoday.com/subscribe Emplo y ment Law Today Canad a ian www.employmentlawtoday.com e end of DB pension plans? DC plans only for GM's new hires BY JOHN DUJAY A NEW DEAL between General Motors (GM) and Unifor in On- tario not only means changes for the 3,860 workers involved but serves as further confi rmation de- fi ned benefi t pension plans are a dying breed. The agreement secured a $554-million investment at three facilities, while converting 700 precarious jobs and off ering wage improvements, according to the union. It also set the pattern for contract talks with Fiat-Chrysler Automotives and Ford. But the Sept. 19 deal also saw the union giving up defi ned ben- efi t (DB) pension plans for new hires. e union did the best it could in challenging circumstances, ac- cording to Jerry Dias, national president of Unifor in Toronto. "I am a realist." If GM was stuck with its cur- rent DB plan — which still covers 24,000 active members and 54,000 retired members — the company WE > pg. 6 Unifor president Jerry Dias in Ottawa on Aug. 24. The union negotiated a major deal with GM Canada that saw new hires losing out on defined benefit (DB) pension plans, part of a larger trend embracing defined contribution (DC) plans. Amazon tries out 30-hour workweek, managers included But is pilot just an employer-friendly initiative? BY SARAH DOBSON ONCE AGAIN making waves, Amazon recently revealed it will be experimenting with a 30-hour workweek for a select group of employees in the United States. e program will see technical teams made up entirely of part- time workers. ey will be sala- ried and receive the same benefi ts as traditional 40-hour workers but be given 75 per cent of full- time pay. "We want to create a work en- vironment that is tailored to a reduced schedule and still fosters success and career growth," said a posting by the company on Event- brite.com, according to the Wash- ington Post. " is initiative was created with Amazon's diverse workforce in mind and the realization that the traditional full-time schedule may not be a 'one-size-fi ts-all' model." While acknowledging it as a public relations exercise, Isik Zeytinoglu said she thinks the ini- tiative will be a success. "It's good for the company and also good for a group of workers who are interested in working 30 hours per week, who will also get full benefi ts… so it's a win-win situation for both," said Zeytino- glu, professor of management and industrial relations at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. "It will give the impression Amazon is doing something great, that it's a great place to work in, so it's a good advertisement." e workers have also been told they can move on to full-time po- sitions if they are interested, she said, and it's possible some indi- viduals will also pursue entrepre- neurial opportunities. "They will have 10 hours or more in the week to perhaps focus on their other interests." Whether other companies fol- low suit is unknown, said Ellen Ga- linsky, president and co-founder of the Families and Work Institute in New York, but Amazon is address- ing a challenge HR has faced: How to have part-time and full-time workers at one workplace. " ey've struggled with it being against the norm," she said. "It's a very small experiment but it's ad- dressing a big problem." As to why Amazon is making the move, Galinsky said it doesn't really matter. "I don't really care why com- panies do things that are innova- tive. If they do them well, and if they serve as an example for other companies to help them think out- side of the box… if it's something that benefi ts their own employees, more power to them." A cynic might say Amazon is just trying to save money by reduc- ing the size of its labour envelope, PART-TIMERS > pg. 3 Relocation expenses in spotlight with Liberal claims BY MELISSA CAMPEAU THIS PAST summer, Canadians were exposed to some of the in- tricacies of employer-sponsored relocation expenses when it came to light Prime Minister Jus- tin Trudeau's chief of staff Katie Telford had racked up a bill for $80,382 in moving to Ottawa, and principal secretary Gerald Butts had spent $126,669. Those amounts are north of what's typical, according to Ste- phen Cryne, president and CEO of the Canadian Employment Relo- cation Council (CERC) in Toron- to, as the average cost to relocate a homeowner is about $57,000. But those expenses have been on the rise, with "an increase of 6.5 per cent from the $53,500 reported in 2013," he said. A company-sponsored reloca- tion expense program might cover such essentials as a moving truck, realtor fees and travel expenses, as well as childcare and eldercare as- sistance and spousal job support, plus packing, unpacking, rental cars, temporary housing, a home- buying trip, storage, property man- agement and per diem expenses. Eighty-eight per cent of organi- zations also provide an allowance to cover miscellaneous moving expenses, according to CERC's 2015 Employee Relocation Policy Survey: "Some organizations place a cap on the amount based on a percentage of salary, ranging from $6,000 to $20,000 and there are variances, depending on the length of assignment and the position of the employee within the company." In some organizations, pre- mium miscellaneous expenses are off ered for moves to "hardship LUMP-SUM > pg. 8