Have you heard the latest news?
Welcome to HR Heartbeat, where we give you a rundown of the week's top employment law stories. Stay on the pulse of current trends impacting your business. Plus get up-to-the-minute commentary on all things HR and legal.
So, let's check out this week's headlines...
Policy deadlines in Ontario
Employers with 25 or more staff must make sure they have written policies on the right to disconnect and electronic monitoring before March 1st. The right to disconnect gives employees the right to unplug outside of regular work. As an employer, you must inform employees how and under what circumstances you’ll monitor them electronically and how you use the information you collect.
Many Ontario employers already have these policies in place but small and growing businesses must also ensure they comply. Ontario employers must count their staff on January 1st of every year. If they have 25 or more employees, they have three months to put both policies in place.
Right now, Ontario is the only jurisdiction to legally mandate the two policies. But employers in other provinces should also consider having them, as it will help motivate employees since not every business can afford to raise salaries or give bonuses.
New Statutory holiday proposed in British Columbia
On February 7th, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Act 2023, entered the B.C. legislature. If it passes, it will allow B.C. to join Canada (federal), P.E.I., and some Northern jurisdictions in recognizing September 30th as a statutory holiday. Also known as orange shirt day, the holiday recognizes the legacy of the Canadian Indian residential school system.
The Act entered its third reading stage on February 16th. It hasn't been passed, but it will likely come into effect soon. Employees in B.C. who have been employed for at least 30 calendar days and have worked on 15 out of the 30 days before the statutory holiday, will get a paid day off.
Employees who work on this day will get time and a half or double-time pay for working over 12 hours. Learn how to calculate and pay employees correctly for statutory holidays.
2023 has seen a lot of layoffs worldwide, especially in the tech space. Many Canadian employers have also had to make cuts to their talent pools. This is largely due to inflation, rising interest rates and COVID-19’s influence on spending habits.
Layoffs are never fun, but you can steer your way through them like an expert. If you have to let staff go, make sure you do it compliantly. Employers need to offer all laid off employees a full and final release document. This is a document that formally ends their employment and waives any rights the employee has to make claims against the company in the future. But take note, a full and final release won’t always protect you from certain situations like sexual harassment or unjust dismissal claims. Find out what you should know about terminating employees legally.
That's it for today! Come back next week for more HR news so you stay ahead of major employment law changes.