IDEL update: What's Changed & What Do Employers Need to Do? With the welcome easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Ontario – from masking requirements to vaccine mandates – it’s been a while since many employers have had to turn their minds to the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL). When the IDEL was first introduced, we were faced with an array of questions from employers. Since then, the IDEL has been through several updates and expansions. This blog discusses the most recent update to the IDEL.

Paid IDEL

What’s Changed?

Paid IDEL has now been extended to July 31, 2022. The Ontario COVID‑19 Worker Income Benefit (“Benefit”), which came into effect April 29, 2021, amended the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) and required employers to provide paid IDEL to eligible employees. It was previously set to end on December 31, 2021.  Continue Reading Update: Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL)

Common Employer & Termination Clause Updates: Rahman vs CannonDoes the employee’s level of contract knowledge make a contract more enforceable? Who is on the hook for termination pay if a company has subsidiary or parent companies? 

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently answered these questions in Rahman v. Cannon Design Architecture Inc. The bottom line of the decision is:

  • an employee’s level of sophistication has no bearing on whether a termination clause is enforceable
  • the language in with-cause termination provisions needs to be carefully worded and abide by requirements in the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”) 
  • subsidiary and parent companies of an employer can be considered “common employers” if there is a certain level of integration between the companies, making them jointly and severally liable to the employee. 

Continue Reading Rahman v Cannon: Common Employer & Termination Clause Updates

Dealing with both employees and employers daily, we are constantly hearing and seeing how “hot” the job market is right now. Yet employers, in particular, are finding it increasingly difficult to find workers. We are seeing this clear across the board, from the restaurant and retail industries to the corporate world. So, who is the job market “hot” for? And, how can employees and employers take advantage of this scorching time?

What’s Happening with the Job Market? 

The labour market, while hot, is also very tight right now. The unemployment rate is at an extreme low and job vacancies are at an extreme high. Why is this? COVID-19 undoubtedly changed many aspects of the way we work but one of the biggest shifts we saw was moving to remote work. This had a direct impact on the types of employment people sought out. While tech industry businesses had to staff up their growth quickly, hospitality and retail industries took a huge hit to their employment rates, with many shops and restaurants closing. With this, we’ve seen tech, financing, non-commercial real estate, and essentially any areas of work that can excel in remote work, takeoff (if managed properly). Continue Reading Keeping Up With the Current “Hot Job Market”

One of the greatest challenges an employer can face is being sued by a former (or current) employee. In this webinar, SpringLaw’s Jessyca Greenwood and Emily Siu will walk you through the litigation process, what to expect, and some steps you can take to avoid getting into this expensive and lengthy process in the first place.

Date: Wednesday, June 15th, 2022
Time: 10:30-11:00 am EST
Register today: Click here!
Continue Reading Free webinar: Going to Court – Employment Law Litigation Tips

Unlimited Paid Time Off Policies - Proceed with Caution!We’ve been hearing about unlimited paid time off  (PTO) for some time, but it is not yet a common trend in Canada. However, from time to time in our employment law practice, we encounter employers who offer unlimited or unstructured time off to their employees.

At first glance,  unlimited PTO may sound wonderful and generous, and employers may offer it to foster a positive workplace culture and promote work-life balance. However,  without addressing potential issues via contracts and policies, offering unlimited and unstructured time off could cause more headaches than benefits for both the employers and the employees.  Continue Reading Unlimited Paid Time Off Policies – Proceed with Caution!

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Work - what employers need to knowTo kick off the start of Pride Month in Ontario, we encourage you to make sure your workplace policies are up to date and address the important values of equity, diversity, and inclusion. While most employers know discrimination in the workplace on any protected ground within the Ontario Human Rights Code is a big no-no, equity, diversity, and inclusion may not always be top of mind in the day-to-day running of a business. Promoting these principles within your company creates a safe and welcoming workspace and promotes different perspectives, innovative ideas, and greater collaboration and is important for the retention of the talent you have. Continue Reading Happy Pride Month! What Employers Need to Know about Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Work

As employment lawyers, we know that our employer clients can sometimes feel overwhelmed with the volume of documentation they have to prepare and review to sustain a healthy workplace and minimize potential employment-related liabilities. Employment contracts and workplace policies are two of the most common employment-related documents that employers of all sizes often have to deal with in the course of an employment relationship. Many employers, especially newer and smaller ones, often wonder what the differences are between the two, what types of content go into each, and whether they hold the same weight. In this blog, we attempt to provide some insight into this topic.

What Goes in What?

The legal rights and entitlements of an employee, such as the employee’s entitlements to notice on termination or vacation entitlements, should be included in an employment contract. An employer will want to avoid including language about employees’ legal entitlements within the workplace policy; having the policy be found to be unenforceable later on could create problems for the employer. Though an employer may have a general right to make some types of amendments to their policies, altering significant components of a policy may demonstrate the employer’s intention not to be bound by the original agreement. Continue Reading Employment Contracts vs. Workplace Policies

À compter du 14 mai, le port du masque n’est plus obligatoire dans les milieux de travail au Québec, à l’exception des transports et milieux de soins. 

Le gouvernement du Québec a publié le 11 mai, 2022, l’arrêté numéro 2022-032 du ministre de la Santé et des Services sociaux, qui précise certaines circonstances où les membres du public doivent continuer à porter un masque, notamment dans les transports et milieux de soins de santé.

Le télétravail et le mode de travail hybride se poursuivent selon les modalités prévues par l’employeur, si applicable. Continue Reading La fin des masques en milieu de travail

Disconnecting from work - the why and how for employers and employeesIn our previous blog, we discussed how employers who staff 25 or more employees must implement a written policy addressing disconnecting from work. But, what does this mean for both the employer and the employee and what are the benefits we hope to see? 

It’s no secret the pandemic has entirely changed the way we work. Our homes have become our offices which has caused a huge disruption in our work-life balance. But, the work-from-home mandate is not the only culprit for the changed relationships with our jobs. It started long before that with access to technology everywhere we go. Our work is easily accessible through our phones, tablets, laptops, and maybe even our smartwatch. We have entirely normalized being reachable and accessible at all hours of the day. With pending deadlines and timelines, we’ve seemed to adopt an “always on” approach to work where we somehow feel guilty about shutting down.  Continue Reading Get That Spring Back in Your Step by Disconnecting

In this webinar, SpringLaw’s Lisa Stam and Danielle Murray will discuss how you can support women leaders in the workplace, common challenges women leaders face, and how employers can ensure equitable exits if needed.

Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Time: 10:30-11:00 am EST
Register today: Click here!
Continue Reading Free webinar: Barriers & Biases – Supporting Women Leaders