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Why the Canadian Federal Strike (PSAC) Can't Be Ignored by Small Business Owners

As the federal strike goes into full effect, find out how Canadian small business owners may face a storm of similar requests from their staff.

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2023
3 min read

Over 150,000 Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) members have announced a strike starting today (19th April 2023). The union is advocating for higher wages, better benefits, more anti-racism training and remote work.

They've been in talks with the Canadian government for almost two years, with no progress on key priorities. With remote work being one of their deal breakers.

As the threat of one of the largest federal strikes in Canadian history looms, you may wonder how this affects you as a small business owner. Let’s find out…

More workers may be demanding remote roles

Working from home will be more common if the Canadian government agrees to the union's terms. With many federal workers working from home, more employees—including yours may broach this subject with their employers.

As COVID-19 proved, remote can be great for businesses. But many employers haven't explored this option for different reasons. One of the main reasons some employers are hesitant is concern about monitoring how employees work.

Remote work doesn't have to be challenging though. With the right HR software, letting your staff work from different locations can be a breeze.

Learn how our time-tracking mobile app—Blip—helps you manage employees' work hours.

Managing upward and downward changes with the right policies

As the federal strike and other factors have shown, employees' working conditions can change anytime. Whether it's an employee taking maternity leave or a pay cut, it's important to have the correct documents to guide such events.

Having easy-to-edit documents and policies on pay adjustments or maternity leave can help you. They provide a framework so you and your employees know exactly what to expect during such times of change.

Discover why detailing employees’ terms of employment is important.

Training and awareness on common workplace issues

One of the demands of the PSAC strike is more anti-racism training. Training and development are important to improve employee skills and job performance. It also gives staff tools to help handle common workplace issues. It also gives employees a competitive advantage so they adapt to changes in business practices, technology, and industry trends.

See how BrightLearn — our FREE educational platform provides free, self-paced, accredited lessons. It's packed with courses on topics like diversity, equity and inclusion, and mental health awareness. We’ve teamed up with industry leading learning providers like LinkedIn to create some of these courses. So you can be confident these modules are credible and will help your employees perform better in the workplace.

Managing unplanned absences

Work in federal offices will halt as the Canadian workers' government strike goes full swing. Now a staff strike isn't something you’ll likely have to worry about as a business owner – but it calls to mind how workplaces are affected by employee absences.

Unexpected absences can lead to increased costs for your business as you scramble to cover for the missing employees’. It also leads to dips in productivity as other staff struggle to take on the extra workload to ensure business operations continue smoothly.

Not all unplanned absences can be helped, as an employee may call in sick last minute. But, with the right absence management software, you can easily manage and keep track of absences. You can quickly see who's free to work that day, so you don't overwork staff already working that shift.

Discover how to make absence management faster.

You may never have to deal with issues like a federal strike, but running a business comes with its unique challenges. It's not strange for staff to renegotiate working conditions, ask for a raise or call in sick last minute.

Dealing with issues like these can be emotionally tense. So, it's important to handle them carefully to avoid legal and reputational risks to your business.

Our HR advice service BrightAdvice gives you access to qualified HR experts during standard business hours, Monday to Friday. These professionals have a thorough understanding of employment regulations and company policies. With their guidance, you'll be sure you're always on the right side of the law.

Discover how BrightHR's extensive suite of software helps you manage these tricky situations. Call us on 1-888-220-4924 or book a demo now.

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