Canadian HR Reporter

July 10, 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 July 10, 2017 INSIDE READERS' CHOICE AWARDS You voted, and the results are in — find out which vendors and suppliers are tops for Canadian HR Reporter readers this year Focus on trades Feds launch apprenticeship training program page 3 Family status Worker's request to leave early gets complicated page 5 After the fire EFAP provider supports Fort McMurray workers page 13 Credit: Sarah Dobson Minimum wage hike would mean 'big hit' for employers: Experts Ontario pushing for $15 base rate by 2019 BY MARCEL VANDER WIER ONTARIO organizations will be hard-pressed to find any positive ramifications in proposed legis- lative changes raising minimum wage in the province, according to experts. In May, Premier Kathleen Wyn- ne proposed the largest increase to minimum wage in provincial history, raising it from its current rate of $11.40 per hour to $14 as of 2018 and $15 in 2019, followed by annual increases indexed to infla- tion. Lesser wages will remain for students ($14.10) and liquor serv- ers ($13.05) as of 2019. Lauding the move as one that will create better jobs and fair workplaces, Wynne said the pay bump will affect more than 25 per cent of the province's workers. "Millions of workers in Ontario are finding it almost impossible to support their families on a mini- mum wage that just doesn't go far enough," she said. "It's time this rate reflected the reality of people's lives. Raising the minimum wage is about creating a fairer, more equal society where everyone gets to share in our province's economic growth." Raising the minimum wage through Bill 148: Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act will help employ- ers by improving productivity, in- creasing employee retention and boosting the purchasing power of workers, said Wynne. With the move, Ontario follows in the footsteps of Alberta, which last year announced it would adopt a $15 minimum wage by Oct. 1, 2018. However, many other provincial minimum wages remain at $11 or lower. Alongside a bump in minimum wage, Ontario employers will soon be required to pay part-time workers compensation equal to full-time for similar work, and businesses will also be on the hook for three hours' pay to employees whose shifts are cancelled without at least 48 hours' advance notice. e legislative announcements followed the release of Ontario's Changing Workplaces Review. 'A big hit' e news of the potential wage hike took employers by complete surprise, said Julie Kwiecinski, ADVERSE > pg. 12 Benefit plans less satisfying But employees more willing to provide genetic information: Poll BY JOHN DUJAY THERE has been a gradual de- crease in the level of satisfaction among employees when it comes to their company benefit packages, according to the latest Sanofi Can- ada Healthcare Survey. But many employees would consent to their personal data be- ing accessed by insurance carriers if it meant they would receive bet- ter coverage, according to the sur- vey of 1,500 plan holders and 461 benefit plan sponsors. Fifty-three per cent of employ- ees feel their health benefit plans meet their needs extremely or very well, down from 63 per cent in 2006 and 73 per cent in 1999. "As we've seen more costs for services go up, then the per- centage of the co-insurance (the amount you need to pay out of pocket) also goes up, so it may feel like your benefit dollars aren't go- ing as far they once might have," said Marilee Mark, vice-president of product development and in- tegrated health solutions, group benefits, at Sun Life Financial in Toronto. e reaction could be partly ex- plained by results that show 60 per HSA > pg. 8 fi nancial well–being award winning learn more... mental wellness physical fi tness it's a lot more than discounts the original perks company TM the original perks company TM 1.866.383.6646 ext.202 IME requests can be justified as part of duty to accommodate Ontario decision clarifies employers' rights BY SARAH DOBSON ONTARIO employers should be comforted to know that when it comes to requesting an indepen- dent medical examination (IME) from employees, they have more rights than they may realize. at's because of a recent decision clari- fying the contractual and statu- tory requirements around such requests. "e incredible thing about this case is you now have the courts of Ontario saying all employers have a statutory basis because you all have a duty to accommodate under the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO). And how can you do a really good job of accommodating if you don't have all the facts you need?" said Anneli Legault, a part- ner at Dentons in Toronto. Employee goes on sick leave e case involved Marcello Bot- tiglia, a longtime employee of the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) in Ontario, who started in 1975 as a teacher and eventu- ally became the superintendent of schools. In 2010, he hoped to become director of education, but the po- sition was filled by another, which he said eventually triggered his depression, so he went on sick leave. Bottiglia had accumulated about 465 paid sick days so he had opted out of the OCSB's long-term disability plan in 2005. And while on sick leave, he continued to ac- cumulate paid sick days and vaca- tion days. REASONABLE > pg. 2 2 0 1 7 READERS' WINNER CHOICE CLOSING TIME Sears Canada said it will be closing 59 of its 225 stores, and laying off 2,900 of its 17,000 workers — leading to questions around severance and pensions. page RC1

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