Canadian HR Reporter

June 12, 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 June 12, 2017 INSIDE Legalizing marijuana A look at recent developments at the TTC provides insights into what's allowed with random drug and alcohol testing Sad bosses A little empathy from workers may go a long way page 2 Ful lling workers In a fast-paced world, HR can help workers nd peace page 14 HR leaders talk Coping with change top of the agenda page 21 page 5 Credit: Mark Blinch (Reuters) Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne hopes to implement major changes to the province's employment standards and labour relations laws. STAY UP TO DATE, AND OUT OF COURT. TFWP rife with issues, fi nds auditor general But recommitment to enforcement, inspections could spell hardship for employers: Experts BY MARCEL VANDER WIER THE national Temporary For- eign Worker Program (TFWP) is being used inappropriately by employers seeking labour help, according to a scathing report handed down by Canada's audi- tor general in May. While the intention of the TFWP is to allow employers to hire temporary help as a last re- sort, the federal government's in- adequate review processes did not consider whether individual em- ployers' need for labour help was justifi ed, or whether those jobs could be fi lled by Canadians, said the audit by Michael Ferguson. Additionally, very few on-site inspections took place, nor did face-to-face interviews with em- ployers and foreign workers, giv- ing organizations the ability to use the program for unintended purposes. " ese fi ndings matter because the program was designed to help employers fi ll job vacancies that they cannot otherwise fi ll, and Ca- nadians expect (Employment and Social Development Canada) to manage the program in a way that makes sure the program is used to respond only to real Canadian labour market shortages," said the report. The federal government re- sponded swiftly, indicating it would accept all of the report's recommendations, which ranged from policy overview to the es- tablishment of a quality assurance framework. " is report confi rms the pre- vious government's serious mis- management of the TFWP," said Matt Pascuzzo, press secretary for Labour Minister Patty Hajdu. "It also validates the changes that our government has made since being elected." "We have already brought in numerous tough new require- ments for employers seeking to hire foreign workers in order to ensure that Canadians are fi rst in line for Canadian jobs," he said. "Our government's highest prior- ity is putting Canadians fi rst in line for jobs in Canada, and we fi rmly believe that the TFWP should only be used as a last resort." IS > pg. 8 Ontario workplaces set to see major changes Government introduces Fair Workplaces Act BY SARAH DOBSON AFTER two long years of wait, the Ontario government announced its intentions to make sweeping changes to workplace legislation. For one, it plans to raise the province's minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2019. e government also wants to ensure casual, part-time, tempo- rary and seasonal employees are paid equally to full-time employ- ees when performing the same job for the same employer. Ontario hopes to set out new scheduling rules for shift work and prohibit employers from misclas- sifying employees as "independent contractors." Workers would also be entitled to three weeks of paid vacation after fi ve years of service with the same employer. Further change would see per- sonal emergency leave (PEL) ap- ply to employers with 50 or fewer workers, and ensure all employ- ees are entitled to 10 PEL days per year, including two paid days. Ontarians are being tested in new ways, said Premier Kathleen Wynne in making the announce- ment of the Fair Workplaces, Bet- ter Jobs Act, citing as examples new technologies, automation, global competition, reduced bene- fi ts, increased part-time work and protectionism south of the border. "People are anxious about their jobs and they're anxious about their future," she said. "With all of the change and uncertainty in the economy, and change in the nature of work itself, it's tough to feel as though you're getting ahead right now, even as our economy recovers." "If we make the right choices now, we can help the people of Ontario navigate that turbulence and set our province on a course toward long-term success." Workplace review e proposed changes closely fol- low many of the recommendations made in an special advisory report on the province's Changing Work- places Review released in May. "While the report pays lip ser- vice to creating an environment that is supportive of business and our changing economy… by EXTRA > pg. 10 Alberta proposes new legislation for workplace BY MOIRA POTTER ON MAY 24, Alberta's NDP gov- ernment proposed major new workplace legislation — the fi rst such changes in the province since 1988. If it comes into eff ect as intend- ed on Jan. 1, 2018, Bill 17, the Fair and Family-Friendly Workplaces Act, would set new labour and em- ployment rules for maternity, per- sonal and compassionate leaves, overtime and vacation pay, youth employment, labour arbitration and union certifi cation. e legislation aligns the prov- ince's minimum employment standards with the rest of the country and, according to Labour Minister Christina Gray, brings "Alberta's workplaces into the 21st century." ere are two parts to the leg- islation, said Ken Kobly, president and CEO of the Alberta Chamber of Commerce. "One deals primarily with em- ployment standards and the other with the labour relations. While we support the proposals for un- paid leaves — most businesses already support their employees who need time away from the job — we are concerned with the number of proposals that aff ect business costs. Together, they lay- er one cost on another, and that means more fi nancial pressure on businesses." ere were also no individual, face-to-face consultations in- volved in preparing the act, he said. NOW > pg. 9

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