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/807729
PM40065782 RO9496 April 17, 2017 INSIDE Avoiding the pitfalls To avoid complications down the road, employers should have the documentation to support a worker's de ciencies before pulling the trigger Banning headscarves Will EU's decision have repercussions for Canada? page 3 Scandalous sales Bank employees describe pressure- lled environment page 7 Organic diversity Engagement data inspires strategy at Economical page 28 page 21 Credit: Christinne Muschi (Reuters) STAY ON TOP OF YOUR OH&S Safety Reporter Canadian safety-reporter.com Federal budget tackles skills gap, innovation Extended parental leave, gender gap also on agenda BY MARCEL VANDER WIER CANADA'S skills gap and rap- idly changing economy took cen- tre stage in Ottawa last month when the 2017 federal budget was unveiled. "Budget 2017 is all about jobs," said Finance Minister Bill Mor- neau. "It's about creating good middle-class jobs today, while preparing Canadians for the jobs of tomorrow." e budget signalled the gov- ernment's intention to ensure tra- ditional workers aren't forgotten in the push towards a more innova- tive, tech-driven economy. Canada's industries require a reboot, and the government's acknowledgment is a good start — though there's much work still to be done, said economist Linda Nazareth, senior fellow at the MacDonald Laurier Institute in Ottawa. "Clearly, there's a major, major shift going on in the world," she said. "We are in the Fourth Indus- trial Revolution, and I don't even know that we talk enough about that. is is not what we had 20, 30 years ago. is is not even like what they had in other industrial revolutions, where you tended to create jobs." WORKPLACE > pg. 2 ESA compliance still a challenge Ontario's Ministry of Labour fi nds many repeat violators MELISSA CAMPEAU LAST FALL, Ontario's Ministry of Labour sent inspectors to 103 workplaces — each of which had been found in violation of the Em- ployment Standards Act (ESA) at least twice during the past three years. For the blitz, the ministry focused on sectors with "precari- ous employment," such as gyms, nail salons and maintenance and security systems. e results weren't good: Most of the employers — 75 out of the 103 — were still in violation of the act. e most common money- related infractions involved public holiday pay, overtime pay and va- cation pay. e top violations not related to money involved hours of work, record-keeping and written agreements on vacation pay. In all, the ministry recovered $125,267 in unpaid entitlements for workers, and it reported that all of the employers willingly complied with orders to pay. e blitz also resulted in 42 fi nes for employers, ranging from $250 to $300 each. Why the violations? e high number of ESA viola- tions comes despite each em- ployer's history of reprimands for rules violations, as well as advance notice of the blitz. IGNORANCE > pg. 13 Do we need a law banning high heels? British Columbia pushes for greater protection while Ontario says restaurant practices improving BY SARAH DOBSON SHORT SKIRTS, tight-fitting outfi ts and high heels are still a common sight when it comes to wait staff at restaurants and bars. But is that appropriate? Or just? Or are greater restrictions needed to protect workers? The Green Party in British Columbia believes the latter. On March 8, Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head in B.C., introduced a bill in the legislature that would amend the Workers Compensation Act "to prevent employers from setting varying footwear and other requirements based on gender, gender expres- sion or gender identity. As a re- sult, for example, this act would prevent employers from requiring select employees to wear high- heeled shoes." e move followed reports of female workers being forced to wear high heels in the restaurant industry, said Weaver, along with a petition in the United Kingdom, which was debated in parliament, to end sexist high-heel dress codes. While B.C. premier Christy Clark voiced her support for the bill, it died when the legislature adjourned. ( e B.C. legislature won't sit again until after a provin- cial election on May 9.) But Angus Duff , assistant pro- fessor of HR management at the School of Business and Economics at ompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C., doesn't think this kind of legislation is necessary. "Firstly, if wearing high heels is unsafe — say because the res- taurant server has to walk in the kitchen where the fl oor can be wet or slippery — we already have health and safety laws that give employees the right to refuse un- safe work," he said. Secondly, if wearing heels is physically painful for workers, they would have the right to re- quest more comfortable shoes and the employer would have a duty to accommodate. RANGE > pg. 10 TURBULENT TIMES After public protests outside his Montreal headquarters, Bombardier president and CEO Alain Bellemare asked the board of directors to defer more than half of the $44 million the company's executives received in compensation in 2016 until 2020. The public outcry followed the federal government's recent pledge of $372.5 million in repayable loans to the company.