Canadian HR Reporter

July 2019 CAN

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.

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PM41261516 THE NATIONAL JOURNAL OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT July 2019 B.C. brings in fi rst wave of new standards Changes involve young workers, unpaid leaves, labour relations BY SARAH DOBSON EMPLOYERS in British Columbia have seen much change of late, with signifi cant increases to minimum wage and an employer health tax. Now they're facing even more ad- justments with the passage of Bill 8, the Employment Standards Amend- ment Act — and this is just the fi rst wave, apparently, as further altera- tions are expected to be introduced this fall. "When British Columbians head out to their workplace, they need to know their safety and rights are being protected in law," said Harry Bains, minister of labour. "We are making improvements that are long overdue — bringing back basic rights and protections that were gut- ted by the old government." But in looking at the changes to the employment standards, they're not done in a balanced manner, said Jeff Guignard, executive director of the Alliance of Beverage Licensees (ABLE BC) and spokesperson for the Coalition of BC Businesses. "We are in favour of making changes to the Employment Stan- dards Act (ESA); we're committed to embracing the changing world of work. We just want to make sure that things are done in a fair, modern and balanced manner," he said. "When it comes to wage rates, or employment standards or labour issues, government does seem to believe that B.C.'s small and medi- um-sized businesses can just aff ord to pay more, and they can't — we're starting to do business in a very highly taxed jurisdiction." For the most part, these would be considered employee-friendly changes which is not surprising, given the government of the day, said Gary Clarke, partner at Stikeman El- liott in Calgary and Vancouver. The Canadian Law Institute did an exhaustive survey of the WORKPLACE ACCESSIBILITY RULES ROLLING OUT Bill C-81 meant to ensure barrier-free Canada, employers should assess workplaces: Experts BY MARCEL VANDER WIER N ew rules surrounding workplace accessibil- ity have been approved by the federal gov- ernment — with implications for employers. Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act, passed third reading in the House of Commons and awaits royal assent. e legislation aims to ensure Canada is barrier-free by 2040. A total of $290 million over six years has been pledged for its implementation. " e time to propose a new system that would help address the barriers to inclusion faced every single day by Canadians with disabilities has come," said Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility Carla Qualtrough in the House of Commons. " is legislation would send a clear signal to Ca- nadians that persons with disabilities will no longer be treated as an afterthought." e act will create the framework to transform how the Canadian government and federally regu- lated sector address barriers to accessibility, said Marielle Hossack, press secretary for Qualtrough. Too many people continue to face barriers in terms of inclusion and access — an issue the act aims to address, she said. " ere are thousands of Canadians with disabili- ties — a vast and largely untapped pool of talent — who are available to work and want to join the workforce," said Hossack. "All Canadians deserve the same opportunities and chances at success." "It is undeniably the most signifi cant piece of legislation on disability rights in Canada since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms." e act requires accessibility and barrier removal in employment, built environments, information and communication technologies, procurement of goods and services, delivery of programs and ser- vices, as well as transportation. While the legislation sets regulations only for the federally regulated sector, all employers would be wise to become as accessible as possible, said David Harassment regulations revealed Employers face 'more proactive' obligations, says expert page 2 Buying into biosimilars Will British Columbia's changes help employers? page 3 Readers' Choice Awards More than 55,000 votes were cast for favourite suppliers and vendors page 15 page 31 Coping with cancer at work Personal story of recovery highlights challenges for employees, employers Credit: VGstockstudio (Shutterstock) Bill C-81 requires accessibility and barrier removal in several areas including employment and the delivery of services. EMPLOYERS > pg. 14 YOUTH > pg. 36 STAY UP TO DATE, AND OUT OF COURT. 2 0 1 9 READERS' WINNER CHOICE

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