Canadian HR Reporter

April 2018 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 THE NATIONAL JOURNAL OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT April 2018 Ontario pushes for greater pay transparency Province looking to bridge gender compensation gap BY SARAH DOBSON LOOKING to "advance women's economic empowerment and build fairer, better workplaces," the Ontario government has intro- duced legislation to increase pay transparency. is means employ- ers would be required to track and publish information about com- pensation at their organizations. ey would also be barred from asking a job candidate about past compensation, while job postings would have to include a salary rate or range. "It's been more than 30 years since Ontario first passed pay equity legislation, but we are still working to close the gap," said Pre- mier Kathleen Wynne. "We know that too many wom- en still face systemic barriers to economic advancement. When women face increased harassment, violence, poverty and discrimina- tion, it hurts our society and our economy. It's time for change." If passed, Bill 203, Pay Transpar- ency Act, 2018, will have signifi - cant implications for employers in Ontario, and it will become the fi rst province to legislate pay trans- parency, according to Lisa Talbot, a partner at Torys in Toronto. "Despite the fact that this prov- ince has had pay equity legislation in place since 1987 and equal pay for equal work legislation in place, and the Employment Standards Act, it hasn't moved the needle in terms of the gender wage gap for some time," she said. "Really, what the (pay) transpar- ency is all about, ultimately, is for an employer to be accountable." But there are several concern- ing issues that stand out from this FUNDING MEDICAL MARIJUANA As stigma fades, more employers are looking to add cannabis to employee plans BY MARCEL VANDER WIER M edical cannabis has been legal in Canada since 2001, and is currently used by more than 230,000 Canadians, according to Health Canada. But recently, more employers have started off ering the drug as an employee benefi t. e impending legalization of recreational marijua- na has reduced the stigma surrounding the once-illicit drug, said Christine an, senior consultant pharma- cist and drug solution specialist at Aon in Montreal. "With legalization coming this summer, or a bit later, there's a bit more awareness," she said. " ere's more support for it in culture." Having companies choose to cover medical mari- juana as an employee benefi t only accelerates the con- versation towards full acceptance, said an. "Having one or two employers come into the public space and say, ' is is something that we have decided to cover'… It kind of raises the question: 'How about us? Should we be doing this as well?'" In March, Sun Life Financial added medical mari- juana as an option for group benefi ts plans. "I would see this as a natural evolution, but one that's driven by the desire to help people live healthier lives, and by the medical evidence that supports the fact that medical cannabis can help them do that," said Dave Jones, senior vice-president of group benefi ts at Sun Life in Toronto. Shifting mindsets e company had previously off ered coverage for the drug via health-care spending accounts (HSAs), which weren't as widely available, he said. Recently, more employers have inquired about of- fering medical marijuana in an evidence-based man- ner, with limits on reimbursement levels. "By off ering it as a specifi c health benefi t under the extended health-care plan, rather than under HSAs, you can actually do it that way," said Jones. e diff erence now is that medical marijuana is ac- tually being promoted as a benefi t, said Jason Fleming, director of HR at MedReleaf in Markham, Ont. "Previously under HSAs, it was eligible (as a Canada Revenue Agency eligible medical expense), but cer- tainly not promoted," he said. "It was almost eligible by default. What's happening now is employers and insurers are actively off ering this as an item of coverage." Credit: Eric Buermeyer (Shutterstock) Marijuana products are sold at an event in Vancouver in 2017. ADDITION > pg. 16 Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne in Toronto on Jan. 25. COMPENSATION > pg. 10 Credit: REUTERS/Mark Blinch Focus on employment status Ontario expands equal pay for equal work legislation page 3 Fighting bene ts fraud Roundtable looks at the impact of — and solutions to — bene ts fraud page 6 'Pawternity' leave Can support for pet owners help with recruitment and retention? page 9 page 20 Tech takes safety to new levels Exoskeletons, real-time data, mobile alerts, benchmarking software among newer options Ontario expands equal pay for equal work legislation Fighting bene ts fraud help with recruitment and retention? Tech takes safety to new levels Exoskeletons, real-time data, mobile alerts, benchmarking software among newer options

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