Canadian HR Reporter

October 2, 2017 CAN

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 October 2, 2017 INSIDE It's time to apply! We're looking for the Top 25 HR Professionals in Canada. Just submit a nomination for yourself or a colleague by Oct. 13th. Safety in Singapore Canadian organizations sign on with international accord pages 2 Not a reprisal Labour relations board cites mutual agreement page 5 Silicon Valley north Unlike U.S., Canada is keen to boost immigration page 14 Feds move to close skills gap Work-integrated program off ers incentives to hire students BY MARCEL VANDER WIER EMPLOYERS looking to hire post-secondary students now have an extra incentive to do so, thanks to a new federal program that launched in August. e Student Work-Integrated Learning Program will provide eligible employers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and business sectors — including small and medium- sized businesses — with payroll subsidies of up to 50 per cent of the overall wage cost, at up to $5,000 per placement. A slightly higher subsidy of $7,000 is available for employers that reach out to fi rst-year students and under-represented groups such as women in traditionally male sectors, Indigenous students, and people with disabilities. The government hopes the $73-million program will cre- ate 10,000 internship positions over the next four years, on top of 50,000 the government hopes to initiate through its previously announced five-year, $221-mil- lion partnership with Mitacs — a non-profi t, post-secondary train- ing program regulator. e goal is to have employers and post-secondary institutions work together to help students become job-ready and develop the full complement of skills to- day's organizations are seeking, according to Matt Pascuzzo, press secretary for Canadian Employ- ment Minister Patty Hajdu. "Canadian youth have more for- mal education than ever, yet many complete their studies with a lack of job-ready skills or hands-on ex- perience," he said. "Employers in various sectors have reported that they are strug- gling to fi nd workers with the right skills, which is negatively impact- ing Canada's economic growth and prosperity." ABILITY > pg. 10 Saliva testing helps with disability management Pharmacogenetics primed to be 'next big thing' BY MARCEL VANDER WIER IN their latest attempt to reduce benefit plan costs, Canadian health insurance providers are starting to hone in on pharmaco- genetics — studying how genetics aff ect an individual's reactions to medication. rough saliva testing, mental health medications in particular can be tailored to specifi c genetics, helping employees get healthier faster and return to work sooner, according to Michael Prouse, di- rector of operations at Personal- ized Prescribing in Toronto. Employers and disability man- agers are now looking to pharma- cogenetics as a solution to mental illness and disability cases, as well as cutting down on polypharmacy — multiple medications taken by one patient — and removing non- eff ective medications from overall drug costs, he said. Individuals' genetic informa- tion can be gleaned from saliva or a simple buccal (cheek) swab, said Prouse. Already popular in the United States, pharmacogenetics is a newer concept in Canada, he said. "It's slowly coming to Canada but what I've noticed over the last four years is that it's really skyrock- eted... because this is the most ef- fective tool to basically combat mental illness in the workplace when it comes to the medication side of it... We're not the silver bul- let, but we do provide that insight into the medication regimen to make sure that that's objective." ere are a lot of diff erent insur- ers that are targeting this platform, said Prouse. " ey're starting to understand the benefi ts of pharmacogenetics and they're ready to get in because of Bill S-201 (An Act to prohibit and prevent genetic discrimina- tion). ey're starting to develop some sound plans to get their foot in the door right now." "I think it's going to be huge," he said. "It's going to be the next big thing. When it comes down to innovation in the market, there's nothing more innovative than personalized medicine entering the employer realm." Embracing pharmacogenetics In August, Sun Life Financial an- nounced it would be partnering with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto (CAMH) and Assurex Health on a pharmacogenetics study of nearly 9,000 participants. The study, known as IM- PACT, has been using patients' saliva to determine individu- al response to mental health IT'S > pg. 9 WSIB rolling out new rate framework Ontario uses new classifi cations, prospective approach BY SARAH DOBSON AFTER lengthy consultations and negotiations, the Workplace Safe- ty and Insurance Board (WSIB) in Ontario is catching up to other provinces in rolling out a new rate framework that's set to debut in 2020. e impetus behind the change was to create a very transparent way of setting rates, and to make it easier and simpler for employers to understand, according to Sean Baird, vice-president of employer services at the WSIB in Toronto. "Under the old model, there were different experience pro- grams, depending upon how big of an employer you were or what GREATER > pg. 8 HYDRO HEROES Crews from Hydro One in Ontario prepare to cross the border into the United States on Sept. 11. The utility mobilized about 175 workers, and about 80 vehicles, to head down to Florida to help with the Hurricane Irma relief efforts. Credit: Hydro One page 18

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