Canadian HR Reporter

April 6, 2015

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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pM40065782 Ro9496 April 6, 2015 INSIDE MINING FOR WOMEN Goldcorp program aims to boost their con dence, knowledge and abilities Getting the message Texting truck driver faces the consequences page 5 Staf ng marijuana Licensed producers challenged by rules, hiring page 6 Digital uency Why HR needs to know how to use technology page 15 page 11 Credit: Steve Wadden (Reuters) Emplo y ment Law Today Canad a ian Expert opinions from the best employment lawyers in Canada CELT1504-2015 ad.indd 1 2015-01-09 11:07 AM job quality hits record low: report Are employers increasingly taking advantage of desperate workers? BY Liz BeRnieR tHe QuaLitY of Canadian jobs has reached a new low — and there's little hope of a turnaround anytime soon, according to a CIBC report. e CIBC Canadian Employ- ment Quality Index was down 1.8 per cent compared with one year ago, which represents a record low. But that bottoming out of job quality is not a surprise — rather, it's the continuation of a long- term trend in the labour market, said Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at CIBC World Mar- kets in Toronto, and the report's author. " e record low is not the most signifi cant story. e story is that it has been very low for awhile. We have seen a signifi cant softening in the 90s, and we haven't recovered since then," he said. "It's more structural as opposed to cyclical, and I think that's what the main message is." e index measures the quality of jobs by taking a look at three objective measures that focus on compensation, said Tal. " e three measures are part- time versus full-time, assuming that part-time is of lower qual- ity; self-employment versus paid employment, again assuming that self-employment is of lower qual- ity because on average they make less…; and third is looking at the sectoral distribution… and seeing how many jobs are created in high- paying sectors versus low-paying sectors." The index's measure of job quality is objective in that it doesn't account for things such as job satisfaction — it's purely a measure of job quality based on compensation, which assumes full-time, high-paying employ- ment is preferable. "It's not a measure that is sup- posed to really look at how you feel about your job, how safe your job is. is is a very objective measure, in many ways a very compensa- tion-based measure, so the many other dimensions to quality like satisfaction or (job security) are alberta down but not out Employers get creative with HR strategies BY SaRaH doBSon witH a major downturn in oil prices, it's not all doom and gloom in Alberta — but the hiring binge is over, according to a survey by the Human Resources Institute of Alberta (HRIA) in Calgary. e association's Hiring Confi - dence Index has gone down across organizations, regardless of size or sector — from 58.4 for July to De- cember 2014 to 52.3 for January to June 2015. e biggest drop is among small organizations with fewer than 100 employees (7.7). Large organization confidence dropped by 3.2 while medium-size organizations dropped by 5.8. e number of employers ex- pecting to hire more than fi ve per cent employees is also lower, with the Alberta industry average fall- ing from 26 per cent to 19 per cent, professional services tumbling from 32 per cent to 15 per cent, and oil and gas falling from 38 per cent to 27 per cent. Permanent layoff s are also ex- pected to rise. In the spring, 55 per cent of staff returned to work in less than three months — today, that number is 50 per cent. Previ- ously, one in 10 temporary layoff s became permanent, and now it's 13 per cent, found the survey of Not > pg. 8 a hard day's night Why longer working hours come with a long list of risks BY Liz BeRnieR LonG worKinG Hours — specifi cally those in excess of 50 hours per week — may seem de- signed for productivity gains but, in practice, they produce just the opposite eff ect. Working more than 50 hours per week comes with a sharp de- cline in productivity, according to research out of Stanford Univer- sity in California. And employees who work 55 to 70 hours per week are producing almost nothing during those ad- ditional hours, suggests the study e Productivity of Working Hours by John Pencavel. Yet long working hours aren't really on the radar for many em- ployers and HR departments, de- spite the fact that in many work- places, they should be a pressing concern, said Pencavel, a professor at Stanford. "The fraction of men in the United States… working more than 48 hours per week has in- creased over the last few decades. So long working hours is not a relic — it has not only happened 100 years ago, it happens for some workers today," he said. And the productivity argument is just one piece of the equation, said Pencavel — but it helps build a business case employers can't ignore. For employees working fewer than 49 hours per week, varia- tions in productivity and output were proportional to variations in working hours, found the study. But after 50 hours in a week, productivity began to decline as working hours increased — ceasing altogether at about the 63-hour mark. e science of productivity No matter what we're working on, human performance deteriorates when we're at a task for a long time — it's just the reality of fatigue, said Cameron Mustard, president of the Institute for Work and Health in Toronto. "For those of us who are work- ing Monday to Friday, eight hours (a day), fatigue seems to come into play at about eight hours or so," he said. "The cognitive psychology of human performance has docu- mented this pretty clearly." And it's not just about the base- line number of hours worked every week — the distribution of those hours is also a signifi cant factor in productivity, said Pencavel. "For example, some workers (in the study) were working seven days a week so; in other words, more > pg. 2 people > pg. 9 Gulls fly over fishing boats following a winter storm along North Sydney, N.S., in February. The downturn in the oil patch is now causing turmoil in an island economy that has grown dependent on workers commuting more than 3,000 kilometres west.

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