Canadian HR Reporter

April 18, 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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PM40065782 RO9496 April 18, 2016 INSIDE COPING AFTER KITTY The de nition of "immediate family" could expand with employers such as Shoppers Drug Mart offering workers bereavement leave for pets Social media bites Chipotle lawsuit highlights perils of social media policies page 2 Rogers revamp Focus on coaching sees positive results page 10 Trying too hard An employer's brand has to match the true experience page 13 page 9 Former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Ian Binnie at the release of his report on Senate expenses in Ottawa on March 21. The scandal serves to highlight the challenges of expense management. PRESENTEEISM > pg. 6 SIMILAR > pg. 12 PROCEDURE > pg. 8 Venngo — a core element of a complete compensation and benefi ts strategy. the original perks company TM the original perks company TM 1.866.383.6646 ext.227 20160210_hrReporter_earLug_Mar21_001.indd 1 2016-02-10 12:08 PM Senate scandal provides lessons in expense management Policy, procedure key to compliance, lower costs BY SARAH DOBSON THE SENATE expense scandal has fi lled the news of late after Canada's auditor general looked into questionable claims by the upper house of Parliament. More recently, retired Supreme Court of Canada Justice Ian Binnie reduced the $322,611 in expenses 14 cur- rent and former senators were or- dered to repay to $177,898. While it's a situation involving public funds, the scandal serves to highlight the challenges of expense management. For one, there's the importance of policy and procedure — Bin- nie's report frequently referenced Senate Administrative Rules and Senator's Travel Policy 2012. Travel remains the second largest expense, after personnel, in most companies and corpo- rate travel policies still have an important place in keeping travel costs under control, according to R.J. Filipski, vice-president of business development at travel management company Concur. "It's important to have eff ec- tive travel and expense policies in place at the company level to help to avoid unexpected costs, fulfi ll duty-of-care obligations to employees and to mitigate risk of fraud while supporting key busi- ness goals," he said. "The corporate travel envi- ronment is changing faster than ever before. Technology is giving travellers more choice in booking travel and companies more choic- es in how they interact with their customers and off -site employees." But having travel and expense policies will only work if employ- ees can find them, understand them and use them, he said. "Policies should be comprehen- sive, easily accessible via technol- ogy 24-7 and work for everyone at every level of the organization." As long as an employer has good policies and procedures in place, the situation can be pretty straightforward, said Scott Cham- bers, partner at Blumberg Segal in Toronto. "Whenever a policy and pro- cedure is lacking, that opens the door for ambiguities, particularly regarding expenses or any expens- es, whether it's travel or just the day-to-day expenses for the offi ce." Smaller employers, in particular, often lack a written policy, which makes it most challenging, said Gaetano Gagliardi, payroll com- pliance advisor at the Canadian Payroll Association in Montreal. "We always do recommend that there is a clear written policy that's been acknowledged by employees to ensure they know what the poli- cies around travel expenses are." While many smaller organiza- tions still use a manual system, the automated ones seem to open up the door for abuse, said Chambers. "You just submit your expenses April 18, 2016 Credit: Chris Wattie (Reuters) 'Resumé whitening' common among job applicants Even pro-diversity employers appear to discriminate: Report BY LIZ BERNIER FOR anyone, it can be diffi cult to fi nd a job, but many diverse or minority applicants face added challenges. As a result, up to 40 per cent of minority applicants engage in "re- sumé whitening," according to a University of Toronto study. Applicants will change the name on their resumés to sound more anglicized or remove expe- rience related to an ethnic group or organization, said Sonia Kang, assistant professor at the Rotman School of Management at the Uni- versity of Toronto, and lead author of the study. "We've heard about it a lot kind of anecdotally from our students, we've read about it, but we didn't know if this was something people were actually using strategically to get jobs," she said. "We found in our sample that about one-third of minority job- seekers said that whitening was something they had done and about two-thirds said that they know someone (who had done so)." However, people are much less likely to whiten when they are ap- plying for jobs with employers that said they were pro-diversity, said Kang. "So either employers who had an equal opportunity statement or they mentioned that they wanted applicants from all kinds of diverse backgrounds." To fi nd out if that pro-diversity stance really makes a diff erence in practice, the researchers sent out resumés for 1,600 jobs across the United States and made resumés for black and Asian applicants, so Workers wasting 3 months per year at work: Report To improve productivity, employers should focus on presenteeism BY SARAH DOBSON WHILE many employers are fo- cused on combatting absenteeism, they really should be looking at a major factor behind low produc- tivity: Presenteeism. That's according to a report from Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) that found employees are absent from work an average of four days per year, but they are unproductive for almost three months — 57.5 days — in that year. "Businesses use absenteeism rates as an indicator of engage- ment and productivity because it's easy to quantify. If your employee is at their desk or on the work site, you can tick a box," said GCC In- sights data scientist and report co-author Olivia Sackett, who is based in Melbourne, Australia. "But… businesses are focused

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