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  • HR Heartbeat: Time theft rulings, updates to the Canada Labour Code and…

HR Heartbeat: Time theft rulings, updates to the Canada Labour Code and…

In this week's HR Heartbeat, find out how one employer won against time theft, plus learn about new rules on protecting staff against workplace harassment.

First published on Monday, Jun 12, 2023

Last updated on Monday, Jun 12, 2023

4 min read

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..

Time thief busted

A recent decision by the Canada Civil Resolution Tribunal in British Columbia (B.C.) determined that an employer had just cause for terminating a remote worker's employment for time theft. Time theft—when employees use paid work time for nonwork-related activities without their employer’s permission, is a major concern for many companies, so the recent ruling comes as a comfort for employers and a cautionary tale for employees—especially remote workers.

How was the employee caught, you ask? The Tribunal's final decision was largely based on data retrieved from a time tracking software the company used to check the employee's work activity. The final ruling concluded the employee wasn't entitled to severance pay, and what's more, they also had to pay the company for the hours of wages owed because of their time theft.

In this case, the employee knew their company was monitoring their work activity, but employment legislation in B.C. isn't clear on whether employers have an obligation to disclose or have a policy about the electronic monitoring of their employees. But employers beware! Because there is a risk of violating employee privacy rights, you should rely on advice from employment relations experts to conduct electronic monitoring appropriately.

Find out how our time tracking app—Blip helps you manage remote staff

No room for violence and harassment

Violence and harassment are among the top health & safety risks in the workplace. With the recent amends made in the Saskatchewan Amendment Act 2022, employers now have a direct duty to address, investigate and provide better protections against workplace harassment and violence incidents for their employees.

So, what does this mean for employers? One of the major amendments requires you to develop a violence prevention policy. And according to the amended Saskatchewan Employment Act, all employers have until May 17 2024, to create and put in place an extensive violence and sexual harassment prevention policy.

Learn more about workplace harassment and how to prevent them as an employer.

New updates to the Canada Labour Code

Employers, gear up for further changes to the Canada Labour Code (CLC). Starting July 9 2023, all federally regulated employers must follow new obligations in the ensuing 90 days and onwards due to several amendments coming into force. Some of these changes include:

  1. Businesses operating under federal jurisdiction must reimburse employees for reasonable work-related expenses. You'll have 30 days from the date the expense was submitted to make these reimbursements.

  2. Employers now have to distribute informative material on respecting employers and employee rights in the workplace. The Minister of Labour will provide these materials, and employers must post them in strategic locations around the workplace. You must also provide these materials to new hires within 30 days of employment and when there is a termination of an employment relationship.

  3. You’re also expected to provide new and current staff members with a written employment statement. Don't fret if you aren't sure what to include. You can find them outlined in the Canada Labour Standards Regulations. If any information included in the written employment statement changes during the employment relationship, employers must provide an updated version within 30 days of the change.

Change can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Lean on our employment relations helpline and get expert guidance to navigate legal changes like a pro.

That's it for today! Come back next week for more HR news so you stay ahead of major employment law changes.

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