Canadian HR Reporter

February 8, 2016

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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CANADIAN HR REPORTER February 8, 2016 2 NEWS Recent stories posted on Check the website daily for quick news hits from across Canada and around the world. WEB O N T H E ACROSS CANADA Layoff notices suspended for newsroom workers: Union Work stoppage began after talks broke down Atlantic Canadians to benefit as J.D. Irving looks to hire 7,900 people by 2018 But new positions mostly coming from retirements, normal turnover Canadian Pacific Railway plans to cut close to 1,000 positions this year Eliminated 1,800 jobs last year as shipments fell Cases of mesothelioma, deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure, on rise: StatsCan ousands of cases, deaths related to occupational asbestos exposure reported Alberta Federation of Labour says requiring doctor's note a waste of time But business group argues sick notes valuable for employers Goodwill staff will be paid: CEO More than 430 workers affected by shutdown around the world Manitoba to review Workers Compensation Act Last major review took place in 2005 France set to redefine 35-hour working week, PM says Issues such as paid leave, overtime pay will be adjustable through collective agreements Southwestern Energy to cut 1,100 jobs amid energy slump Cuts represent about 44 per cent of workforce Wal-Mart to give pay raises to most of its workers Average full-time hourly wage at Wal-Mart stores will be US$13.38 Applications for U.S. unemployment aid rise to 6-month high Rise could reflect volatility in data after winter holidays Could workplace dust trigger rheumatoid arthritis? Exposure associated with tripled risk Behind the scenes at HRPA 2016 Ever wonder what your Canadian HR Reporter editors are up to? Check out this behind-the-scenes look at what we do at the annual HRPA conference FEATURED VIDEO Business outlook bleak for 2016 Hiring, investment intentions drop to lowest levels in 6 years: Survey LIZ BERNIER HIRING and investment inten- tions have reached a low point not seen since 2009, according to a Bank of Canada report. Fewer organizations are plan- ning to add workers over the next 12 months, while plans for layoffs are more widespread, found the survey of about 100 firms. Not surprisingly, a significant factor behind the drop is the con- tinuing decline in the natural re- sources sector. "e negative effects of the oil- price shock are also increasingly spreading beyond the energy- producing regions and sectors," said the quarterly report. "It was a really bleak survey," said Linda Nazareth, a Toronto- based economist. "It really is emanating from the resource sec- tor, so it's not the whole country. But with huge layoffs in resources, obviously, and everyone else kind of just waiting, it makes all the numbers look worse. If you look at the investment numbers, they're heavily influenced by resource and investment spending." On a national scale, Canada has been underperforming, according to Todd Hirsch, chief economist at ATB Financial in Calgary. "We continue to underperform economically. We're still seeing challenges in the manufacturing sector and despite the low Cana- dian dollar, those exports have re- ally yet to perform or take off. We might still see that in 2016 — es- pecially if the dollar continues to fall. But we have really struggled in the manufacturing sector," he said. "e resource sector, which is kind of the other main pillar of Canada's economy, that's under even more strain at the moment. And, obviously, the petroleum sector concentrated out in the west — also Newfoundland and Labrador — that is the weakest link in the Canadian economy." Sectoral, regional differences In breaking down the numbers by sector and region, the first and most obvious factor behind the negative outlook is Alberta's oil and gas sector, said Finn Pos- chmann, president and CEO of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council in Halifax, and the im- pacts are starting to be seen now. "e ramping down in capital spending in oil and gas, mostly in Alberta and Saskatchewan… has magnified or increased. e de- crease has increased — spending intentions are down even more than they were in 2015, and this of course has big implications on the labour side," he said. ose declines in spending are translating to significant layoffs, said Hirsch. "We are seeing job losses in Al- berta — not just in the petroleum industry but in all the peripheral industries that feed into the oil and gas sector in Alberta and Saskatchewan." e impact hasn't been entirely confined to the western provinces either, said Poschmann. "(It's) much the same story in the medium-term for offshore oil in Newfoundland where some projects are winding down and some are underway. But new ex- ploration — which is slated for later in this decade — has not se- riously launched yet," he said. "at said, there have been off- shore expenditure commitments both in Newfoundland and Labra- dor and in Nova Scotia. So in the medium term, the offshore work will continue." Other sectors are challenged, said Poschmann. "(It's) even less optimistic for the mining sector, where minerals production in Labrador, Quebec, Ontario are all taking a hit on pric- es," he said. "In financial services, major financial institutions in Canada have all been doing some structural rethinking… they're trimming their management structures and they're becoming more segmented in service lines." at has impacted employment in the financial services sector, though not nearly as dramatically as other sectors, said Poschmann. And it's not yet clear how deep- ly sectoral struggles will impact unrelated sectors, said Nazareth. "My real concern is how does this flow through to the economy? How long does that take to influ- ence much more than resources?" Bright spots? It's not entirely bad news, though — there are still some regions and sectors demonstrating resilience and even slight growth. Central Canada is in relatively good shape, said Nazareth. THINK > pg. 3 Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz at a news conference in Ottawa on Jan. 20. The bank's recent survey found hiring and investment intentions have reached a low point not seen since 2009. Credit: Chris Wattie (Reuters)

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