5 steps to complying with recent HR law changes in Alberta and Ontario

With most of the amendments from Bill 17 (Alberta) and Bill 148 (Ontario) now in force, employers in both provinces need to make certain they are complying with all of the significant changes.

Below are five general steps to meeting your new compliance and due diligence requirements. This guideline can be followed whenever there are significant amendments to HR laws in any jurisdiction, not just for the recent changes in Alberta and Ontario.

  1. Learn which laws have changed so you can understand how these changes impact your current HR practices and policies. (Note: HRinfodesk.com is an excellent resource for the latest legislative news relating to employment and payroll across all 14 jurisdictions in Canada.)
  2. Assess, or audit, your current HR practices and policy manual to identify where changes are needed or need implementation, policies need updating and where controls/procedures and training are required.
  3. Update your policy manual – revise and update the affected policies and new policies you may need to include to align with the new laws and continue meeting your compliance requirements.
  4. Communicate your policies, procedures and practices to your employees and management so they are aware of their rights, obligations and employer expectations. Employees should be able to acknowledge the new or revised policies and procedures that you have put in place. It is crucial to communicate the contents and updates of your policy manual to employees.
  5. Train managers and employees so they understand and can apply the policies and procedures that you have put in place, and you as an employer can enforce them.

For Ontario, January 1, 2018, saw the first significant set of changes to both the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act come into force due to the enactment of the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (Bill 148). Additional changes came into effect late in 2017 and others will come into effect on April 1 and on January 1, 2019.

In Alberta, most of the ESA changes came into force on January 1, 2018, except for the youth employment changes which come into force May 1, 2018. Labour Relations Code changes are now in effect.

It sounds like a lot for employers to handle, but if you already subscribe to Human Resources PolicyPro®, then you are already a few steps ahead of most organizations! The heavy lifting is done for you, as we regularly update policies, commentaries and other resources to keep pace with constantly evolving HR laws so you can meet new or amended legal requirements faster and easier.

Look in the release highlights included with the print version of PolicyPro to see which policies have recently been updated or added to help you comply.

If you’re not a subscriber, you can try it free for 30 days. Click here for more details.


Registration is now open for the 2018 Ontario Employment Law Conference
Learn The Latest at this year's conference

Reserve your spot at this year’s conference before March 31 to save with our early-bird rate.

With most of the amendments of Bill 148 now in effect—along with significant updates to OHS and WSIB provisions, the upcoming legalization of recreational marijuana, and more on the way—there are many substantial changes employers have to deal with now and throughout 2018.

Book your seats today to claim our special early-bird rate and Learn the Latest® in workplace law and what you'll need to know to manage your employees this year and beyond.


A review of our fraud prevention tools for
Fraud Prevention Month
March is Fraud Prevention Month

An annual education and awareness campaign led by the Competition Bureau of Canada, Fraud Prevention Month encourages Canadian businesses and consumers to recognize, reject and report fraud. Fraud can be relatively minor, or it can compromise the operations and reputation of an organization.

Regardless of its scope, when you suspect or discover fraud, it must be dealt with promptly and effectively. Finance and Accounting PolicyPro® (FAPP) comes with several policies, commentaries and tools you can use to combat fraud and establish robust internal control measures to minimize your risk of being defrauded.

Open the PolicyPro software or take a free trial of FAPP and look for these resources that can help you take control of potential fraud threats:

  • Sample Fraud Policy (GV SPP 6.05)
  • Risk Assessment Checklist
  • Physical Security Checklist
  • Competition Act Compliance Checklist
  • Identifying Fraud Risks Worksheet
  • Risk Factors and Possible Responses Worksheet

10 common employment standards
mistakes made by employers

The Ontario government recently published the result of their employment standards enforcement blitz into new and young workers and hours of work conducted from May to August 2017.

  • Of the 385 inspections of new and young workers, 202 employers were found to be non-compliant. Overtime pay, minimum wage, public holidays/public holiday pay were the most common monetary violations.
  • Of the 565 inspections into hours of work, 237 employers were found to be non-compliant. Hours of work: excess daily or weekly, overtime pay and hours of work: daily or weekly rest were the most common monetary violations.

Everyone makes mistakes, but some compliance errors are made more often than others. Learn how to prevent these mishaps with our popular whitepaper, The Ten Most Common Employment Standards Mistakes. Subscribers to The Human Resources Advisor can find it under the Resources tab in HRA. You can also download it for free here.


Do your employees receive tips or other gratuities?
employee receiving gratuity

We’ve added SPP 3.14: Tips or Other Gratuities to Human Resources PolicyPro (HRPP) to ensure that employers with workers who receive tips or other gratuities are acting in accordance with the legislative requirements of their jurisdiction.

The laws governing tips and other gratuities apply to more employers than one might first consider. Employees working as servers, florists, valets, drivers, movers and guides would be included in this category, just to name a few.

In most provinces, tips or other gratuities are specifically excluded from the definition of wages in employment standards laws. Such amounts are not included for other purposes which are determined on the basis of wages, including vacation pay and holiday pay.

So it’s recommended that employers who have employees who receive tips or other gratuities create a policy or review and amend their policies on pay principles. If you’re not an HRPP subscriber, you can request a free 30-day trial here to take a closer look at this sample policy.



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