Ontario Employment Law Conference
CASL private right of action comes into
force July 1, 2017
CASL private right of action

The private right of action provision for individuals and businesses under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation permits monetary penalties of up to $1,000,000 per day against a corporation's officers, directors, agents and the organization itself for violations—among other remedies.

Ensure you are complying with all CASL laws by using Policy OM 6.13 – Anti-Spam Requirements from Finance and Accounting PolicyPro®. Be sure to also reference our CASL flowchart that helps you determine whether you are sending commercial electronic messages to your contacts legally.

Not a subscriber? Take a free trial today and keep both the policy and flowchart—or any other two policies or resources you wish to own.

Massive change recommended for Ontario’s employment and labour law; Alberta update in progress
Changing Workplaces Review

On May 23, 2017, the Government of Ontario released the Changing Workplaces Review final report. It contains 173 recommendations that endorse significant changes to Ontario’s employment law to meet the demands of the modern workplace.

The provincial government has responded swiftly to the review, tabling Bill 148, The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act on June 1, 2017. If enacted, Bill 148 will:

  • Raise Ontario's general minimum wage to $14 an hour on January 1, 2018, and then $15 an hour on January 1, 2019
  • Mandate equal pay for part-time, temporary, casual and seasonal employees doing comparable work to full-time employees
  • Expand personal emergency leave to include at least two paid days per year for all workers
  • Ensure employees receive at least three weeks' vacation after five years with the same employer
  • Require employees to be paid for three hours of work if their shift is cancelled within 48 hours of its scheduled start time

Alberta’s government also recently introduced a Bill to update the province’s employment and labour laws. Bill 17, the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act, is aimed at aligning Alberta’s laws with best practices across Canada rather than making sweeping changes like recommended in the Ontario review.

Subscribers to HRinfodesk can follow these developments through the legal process (here for Ontario and here for Alberta) and in either case, employers with employees in Ontario and Alberta will be able to prepare for these upcoming changes using their subscriptions to The Human Resources Advisor and Human Resources PolicyPro. These publications will soon incorporate this compliance information to ensure they have the tools to meet new requirements when they become law.

Employers in Ontario can join Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn to hear about the government’s response to the Changing Workplaces Review at the 18th annual Ontario Employment Law Conference on June 20!

Reserve your seat today

Communicating during a crisis

It is always best to clearly state the ground rules related to terminations in a policy statement. Look to Policy 2.09 – Termination of Employment in Human Resources PolicyPro® (HRPP) to establish reasonable—and enforceable— termination procedures that are both fair to employees and provide clear directives to prevent managers from committing arbitrary terminations.

Involuntary terminations are frequently the cause of disagreement, legal action or investigation by government agencies. This in turn may lead to an excessive amount of the employer’s and management’s time towards defending or justifying the dismissal. In fact, employers who do not handle terminations in a fair and reasonable manner often end up facing wrongful dismissal claims.

Try HRPP free for 30 days to view the library of over 100 sample policies, including our termination policy.


12 communication tips for dealing with a crisis
Communicating during a crisis

Not-for-Profit PolicyPro® (NPPP) now includes updated tips and the basic elements for developing a crisis communications plan. For more information, look in the Communication section under Chapter 3: Advocacy and Public Policy.

No one ever wants to think about a public relations crisis happening, but it’s important to have contingencies in the event one does take place. With a proper communications plan ready, you can make sure your staff knows what to do to minimize damage to your organization’s reputation and brand.

Try NPPP for free

statutory holidays

New Brunswick – Family Day to start in 2018

Family Day has landed in the province of New Brunswick. Starting next year, the statutory holiday will be observed on the third Monday in February (February 19 in 2018) and brings the total number of paid public holidays in the province up to the national average of eight.

The Human Resources Advisor (HRA) can help you understand your legal obligations and responsibilities for public holidays in your jurisdiction, including the rules for holiday pay, working on a holiday, entitlements and more. If you’re not a current HRA subscriber, click here to find out how you can try it for free.

Nova Scotia – Accessibility Act receives Royal Assent

On April 27, 2017, Nova Scotia became the third province in Canada (joining Manitoba and Ontario) to enact accessibility legislation. The provincial government is now working alongside persons with disabilities and the private and public sectors to develop six accessibility standards in the areas of:

  1. Goods and services
  2. Information and communication
  3. Public transportation and transportation infrastructure
  4. Employment
  5. Education
  6. The built environment

HRinfodesk will continue to provide updates on accessibility legislation in Nova Scotia as soon as more information becomes available.

Also note that Nova Scotia has made important changes to its Occupational Health and Safety Act, effective June 12, 2017, with Bill 165.

New commentaries have been added to The Human Resources Advisor – Atlantic Edition that explain the new requirements of employers. Refer to the following discussions in the Health and Safety chapter:

  • The right to stop work
  • What types of work-related injuries need to be reported
  • Offences and penalties for OHS violations
  • What to do when an employee is involved in a workplace accident or suffers an injury

Ontario – Recent Ministry of Labour blitz finds 3/4 of employers not compliant on ESA basics

Last fall, the Ontario Ministry of Labour inspected 103 workplaces that had previous Employment Standards Act (ESA) violations. 75 of these workplaces were found non-compliant with core standards of the ESA such as vacation pay, hours of work, record-keeping and overtime, to name a few.

Related: What to do when the MOL comes calling

You can use the comprehensive workplace self-audit checklists in The Human Resources Advisor™ to assess your compliance with the general obligations under the Employment Standards Act and Occupational Health and Safety Act and avoid simple mistakes and unnecessary costs.

Manitoba – Phase two of the WCB rate model reform starts next year

Scheduled for 2018, the second phase of the Manitoba WCB rate change will introduce the "experience factor." The new feature combines individual and classification experience based on employer size and intends to more fairly balance individual and collective risk based on relative size.

For example, smaller employers will be cushioned against significant claims costs with rates tied to the performance of employers their size. Meanwhile, larger organizations will rely more on their own individual experience over the previous three years rather than their classification as their experience is more predictable.

For more details on phase one and two of the WCB rate model reform in Manitoba, click here.


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What's your take on employment contracts?

We think they're essential to avoid conflicts, legal challenges and unnecessary costs. Expert-prepared and legally reviewed sample contracts can be found in The Human Resources Advisor, along with dozens of other forms for areas such as hiring, recruitment, employee relations and much more. Just click on the Forms tab when you log in to HRA.


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