Canadian HR Reporter

May 29, 2017

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 May 29, 2017 INSIDE 'The worst day of my life' A Thomson Reuters employee opens up and shares her personal story about the rst time she considered suicide Bene ts savings Ontario to cover drug claims for residents under 25 page 3 Stealing time Years of good service don't outweigh time theft page 5 Rewriting rules Deloitte unveils global human capital trends page 8 page 19 Credit: Yellowj (Shutterstock) STAY UP TO DATE, AND OUT OF COURT. 'HR is not about HR' Human resources professionals should focus on being architects, not chiefs of operations: Ulrich BY MARCEL VANDER WIER "HR is not about HR. HR begins and ends with the business." So begins Dave Ulrich's latest book, which says the culture of an organization can have four times the impact on business perfor- mance compared to individual talent. A renowned human resources strategist and business professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, Ulrich presented his fi ndings at the 2017 CHRO Conference in Toronto in May, hosted by the Human Re- sources Professionals Association (HRPA). It was important to cut directly to the chase with the fi rst sentence of his book, he said. "If I focus from the fi rst question on business issues, and then HR enables those issues, I think we've got the focus right," said Ulrich. " at's my new view of HR." Changing world Going forward, the focus of HR professionals should not be self- serving, but rather focused on what the department can do for others — how it can create value and help the business win, he said. "The world is changing fast, faster than we've ever seen," said Ulrich, author of Victory rough Organization: Why the War for Talent is Failing Your Company and What You Can Do About It. e book features data collected from 32,000 respondents at 1,200 businesses around the world. e resulting workplace shifts include changes to HR-driving forces, such as social and economic change, stakeholder expectations, a volatile world and personalities. Diversity, technology, politics and demographics are also playing a role, he said. TEAMWORK > pg. 7 Human resources professionals should focus on Human resources professionals should focus on being architects, not chiefs of operations: Ulrich being architects, not chiefs of operations: Ulrich being architects, not chiefs of operations: Ulrich Dave Ulrich said if HR focuses on business issues, and then acts to enable those issues, then the profession is on the right track. Credit: Ali Aghtar/HRPA Court gives needed clarity on reference checks Candidate refused job because of bad reference sues – and loses BY SARAH DOBSON IN MAY 2014, things were look- ing promising for Adam Papp. He had applied for the position of socio-economic statistician at the Government of Yukon and, after being screened, completing a written test and going through a phone interview, was the fi rst- ranked candidate for the job. But when the government did a reference check with his former employer, he was not off ered the position. Papp went on to claim damages for defamation in the amount of $500,000; punitive, exemplary and aggravated damages in the amount of $200,000; damages on the basis of intentional infl iction of mental suff ering in the amount of $30,000; and damages for wrong- ful dismissal of $65,000. But the Ontario Superior Court of Justice disagreed — aside from awarding about $17,000 for his wrongful dismissal. is decision should be a relief to employees and employers alike, said Gurlal Kler, a partner at Sam- fi ru Tumarkin in Toronto. "I'm sure there are certain em- ployers that really do want to provide a reference but are afraid to, so now they can refer to this decision, which will set out their obligations," he said. " e decision confi rms that when an employee makes a request to his employer to act as a reference, when there's absent any agreement to the con- trary, the employee is agreeing that the employer is at liberty to discuss both the positive and negative as- pects of the employee during the reference check." e decision also "saves" the whole concept of a reference check, said Kler, who represented the defence. "If we were to put an obligation on the employer to only limit their comments to positive aspects of THE > pg. 6 Plenty of questions around pot legalization BY SARAH DOBSON NOW that the dust has settled on Ottawa's announcement to legal- ize marijuana, employer groups and industry experts are starting to ask tough workplace questions. e Surrey Board of Trade in British Columbia, for example, is concerned that among the 80 recommendations made by the federal Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation, only three concern the workplace. "Marijuana is one of these issues that, quite frankly, a lot of busi- nesses just don't understand what it's going to mean to them," said Greg omas, board chair. He questioned whether there has been any discussion around a potential decrease in worker pro- ductivity or health. "This might have some very serious ramifi cations if we don't think it through carefully," he said. " e ramifi cations to business in terms of the legal side, the hu- man rights code, workers' com- pensation, the insurance compa- nies — all of a sudden now they have all these obligations to fulfi ll, which come with a cost." And when it comes to the actual drug itself, there are many ques- tions, said omas. "If we were to create a new drug today and put it on the market, it would have to go through exten- sive testing and trials: We'd have to know the rate of dosage. We'd have to know how long it lasts based on your weight and the amount of fat that you have, and all these other things, do all these other calcula- tions… With marijuana, we don't really know any of that, and yet we're about to legalize that." Similarly, Enform, the safety association for the oil and gas in- dustry's upstream and midstream sectors in Canada, is concerned about the impacts of marijuana on the safety of workers in safety- sensitive workplaces. "With legalization, what they've seen in other jurisdictions (such as Colorado) is at least an initial in- crease in those who use marijuana, for obvious reasons, said Cameron MacGillivray, president and CEO of Enform in Calgary. "So you might see an increase in marijuana in the workplace." e group is calling on all levels EMPLOYERS > pg. 16 e decision "saves" the whole concept of a reference check.

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