Canadian HR Reporter

August 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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PM40065782 RO9496 August 8, 2016 INSIDE BUILDING BRIDGES How can we create linkages and mitigate disconnects between HR research and HR practice? TFWP confusion Federal court case highlights ad guidelines page 5 Ergonomics Getting all levels involved helps with safety page 15 Pokemon and HR How can new game relate to recruitment? page 19 page 13 GoodLife Fitness is one of the first fitness chains to see employees unionize, despite the company being named a top employer over the years. The change will make HR a lot more accountable, says one lawyer. Venngo — an award winning core element of a complete compensation and benefi ts strategy. it's a lot more than discounts the original perks company TM the original perks company TM 1.866.383.6646 ext.202 20160705_hrReporter_earLug_july8_001.indd 4 2016-07-05 3:02 PM GoodLife faces challenges after unionization vote Personal trainers in Toronto join Workers United BY SARAH DOBSON WITH GoodLife Fitness tout- ing its corporate culture over the years — and making it onto several top employer lists — it may have come as a surprise to some when employees in Toronto voted to unionize at the fitness chain. More than 900 participated in a vote on June 6, with 181 per- sonal trainers voting yes and 116 voting no when it came to joining Worked United Canada Council, and 147 group fitness instructors voting yes while 305 voted no. e employer community is not particularly attuned to the risks and consequences of unioniza- tion, said Jeffrey Murray, a partner at Stringer in Toronto. "Many employers sort of think that it's not really anything that could possibly happen to them. But… it can happen to them and it's a very significant consequence to them and it's a fundamental change in how they deal with their employees." Grumblings Serous concerns started being ex- pressed a few years ago, according to Alana Free, vice-president of people and culture at GoodLife in Toronto, which has just over 14,000 employees countrywide. "Initially, I was really surprised because we worked really hard at open communication and trans- parency and listening to associates or employees to find out what's going on, how can we do things better." In response, the chain made several changes, she said, starting with holding town halls to hear about people's concerns, explain GoodLife's reasoning and manage expectations. Weekly communica- tion also went out from managers to talk about changes being made based on the feedback, said Free. ese included better uniforms, better equipment and equipment repairs and improved benefits. As for non-compete clauses, these were something GoodLife had had for many years, were typical for the industry and were clearly outlined and explained in the onboarding process — but many people misunderstood their meaning, said Free. ere was also a perception of wages being clawed back when it came to commissions. It's a com- plicated system and GoodLife is working on making it more straightforward so people under- stand it better, she said. Workers' compensation was an- other concern, as fitness clubs in Ontario do not have to subscribe to the province's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), said Free. But GoodLife focuses on prevention and keeping people healthy and safe, she said, along with providing an employee as- sistance program for employees, no matter how many hours they Ontario considers mandatory work experience for all students BY LIZ BERNIER THERE'S a possibility the Ontario government will implement man- datory work experience for stu- dents, if recommendations from an expert panel are implemented. Mandatory work-integrated learning initiatives such as co-op programs or internships for all high school, college and univer- sity students in the province were among the recommendations of the Highly Skilled Workforce Ex- pert Panel appointed in December. The panel's report, Building the Workforce of Tomorrow, said experiential learning can signifi- cantly assist with entry into the workforce. "ese experiences are valuable for new immigrants, adults and students. Successful experiential learning programs provide value for the employer as well as the worker and provide individuals with opportunities to solve prob- lems and work in interdisciplinary teams. Experiential learning also plays a valuable role in helping individuals make decisions about future careers and employment pathways," it said. "Employer participation in, and support for, experiential learn- ing programs tends to be limited because of employer concerns about certain kinds of administra- tive and/or operational require- ments… Employer participation is also limited due to onerous time/ resource requirements associated with programs and at times mis- alignment between the required skills and aptitude of potential hires with business needs. The panel feels strongly that experi- ential learning must become an MANY > pg. 7 Random requests for childcare can be accommodated Tribunal supports absent father BY SARAH DOBSON AS a newer area of employment law, family status and accommo- dation continues to evolve, as seen in a Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) case that found even random requests regarding childcare should be properly con- sidered by employers. e case involved Jolanda Mi- raka, a delivery truck driver for A.C.D. Wholesale Meats in To- ronto who started work on May 14, 2012. On Monday, June 11, his wife — who suffered from anxiety attacks — called him at work to tell him she was unwell so Miraka told the office manager, Rosa Ruf- folo, he would not be able to work Tuesday as he'd have to stay home to look after his young children. On the Wednesday, Miraka phoned work late to say he had to stay home again to look after the kids. And when Miraka returned to work ursday, he started load- ing skids in the cooler room but RESPECT > pg. 17 PERCEPTIONS > pg. 17 Credit: Sarah Dobson

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