According to Statistics Canada, in 2023 20% of Canadian workers reported that they “usually” work from home. This is a significant jump from the pre-pandemic numbers, with only 7% of workers reporting that they usually worked from home in 2016.

Many employers now are trying to figure out how to move forward with working arrangements for their employees in the post-pandemic world- fully remote? Fully in-person? A hybrid of both? 

If your business has employees working remotely, whether all the time or some of the time, there are certain employment law issues you should consider as remote work becomes a more permanent and prevalent part of the employment landscape. 

Continue Reading Potential Employment Law Issues When Managing a Remote or Hybrid Workforce 

Accommodating employees with disabilities and medical issues is an integral part of creating an inclusive and equitable workplace. But what should an employer do if they receive a request for accommodation that does not provide enough information? How can we balance an employee’s right to privacy with an employer’s need for sufficient information to assess an accommodation request?

Continue Reading Navigating Disability Accommodation Requests: Balancing Privacy and Information

This is the third entry in our blog that focuses on the topic of labour law. In case you missed it, you can find the first entry here and the second entry here

In this blog, our focus is on navigating the arbitration process.

Continue Reading Tips and Practical Tricks for Navigating the Arbitration Process 

If you’ve ever explored SpringLaw’s Teams’ Bios, it’s no secret that we are huge pet lovers over here! And, being a virtual law firm, we are lucky enough to work with our furry friends daily. For workplaces that are in-office or hybrid, we have seen various workplaces try to replicate this joy by introducing pet-friendly policies to allow employees to bring their pets to work. For animal lovers, the benefits of bringing your pet to work days may be obvious including improved morale, reduced stress, and even increased productivity. However, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies for all employees and if you’re thinking about rolling out a Pet Policy at your workplace, there are some very important legal factors to consider before doing so.  

Continue Reading Bring your Pet-to-Work Policies – The Do’s, the Don’ts, and the Cautionary Notes 

If you’re an employer or HR representative well-acquainted with the realm of employment law blogs, you’ve undoubtedly encountered a myriad of cautionary tales about the perils of contracting errors.  The blogs about this topic are countless – and for good reason! The significance of getting contracts right cannot be overstated, as a single mistake could potentially lead to substantial liabilities for your organization. An omitted phrase or a misused word within a termination clause could be the deciding factor between an 8-week statutory notice obligation and a hefty 24-month damages award.

Continue Reading Don’t Lose Your Enforceable Termination Clause to the Substratum Doctrine

Common Law Notice 

Upon termination of employment, if an employee’s contractual entitlements are not nailed down in an up-to-date and enforceable employment contract, the employee is likely entitled to common law reasonable notice (or pay in lieu of notice) of termination. Even if an employee’s entitlements are set out in an employment contract, it is common these days for employees, on the advice of employment law counsel, to claim that some of the contract’s termination-related provisions are not Waksdale-proof, and are therefore unenforceable. (We discuss how employers can make their contracts Waksdale-proof in this blog, and best practices for rolling out updated contracts in this blog). Under both scenarios, any path to resolution will start with an assessment of the common law notice period.  

Continue Reading Employers Can Create Win-Win Scenarios by Facilitating Re-employment for Ex-Employees

In this current work climate, it’s all about work-life balance. Employees know what they want and if it’s not being offered at one job, they will search for it elsewhere. This has employers scrambling to offer higher salaries, greater benefits, hybrid or remote work options, or even four-day work weeks to keep up with the competitive job market. All these perks seem fine and dandy to attract employees but if you’re considering a shift to a four-day workweek, it’s important to know the legal implications this could impose.

Continue Reading Thinking of Implementing a Four-Day Workweek? Be Mindful of the Potential Legal Implications

Ah, reference letters, those elusive pieces of paper that can make or break a job seeker’s dreams. But here’s the deal: employers are not an employee’s personal fan club. They don’t have an obligation to shower employees with praise in the form of reference letters. Before employers start feeling like kings on a throne, let’s explore the legal and strategic considerations surrounding reference letters and how they can impact an employer’s business.

Continue Reading Do Employers Have to Provide Reference Letters? The Legal Lowdown
“Loud Quitting” - How Employers Can Manage this Trend

Back in September, we delved into the issue of “quiet quitting” and discussed how employers can manage their quiet quitting employees. Recently, we’ve seen a new, flip-side, trend of employee’s “loud quitting”. No employer wants a disgruntled employee making a dramatic exit from their workplace and potentially spewing ill words about the workplace. So, here are some legal tactics for employers to mitigate potential damages to their company or reputation related to loud quitting employees. 

Continue Reading “Loud Quitting” – How Employers Can Manage this Trend

This is Part 2 of our blog series for US employers with operations in Canada. Click here to read Part 1 if you haven’t already.

No At-Will: Contracts are a Big Deal in Canada

One of the core employment law differences between the US and Canada is that there is no at-will employment in Canada. Ever. In fact, when Canadian judges read “at-will” in a contract, they typically set aside the contract altogether and substitute in typically far more generous common law terms.

In addition, if you do not have any contracts in place, the courts will read in implied terms. This is because all Canadian employment relationships are governed by a contract under our law, whether expressly in an agreement or implied based on common law.

If an employer does not roll out a contract with their employees, the judge will imply terms and conditions that in most cases are more generous than anything the employer would have provided.

Why Contracts Matter in Canada

Contracts are a big deal in Canadian employment law for several reasons:

Next in the Series

1. Defines the employment relationship: A contract sets out the terms and conditions of the employment relationship. This includes details like the job description, salary, benefits, hours of work, and termination provisions. Both the employer and employee have a clear understanding of what is expected.

2. Legal protection: Contracts provide legal protection for both employers and employees. If either party breaches the contract, the other party can seek legal remedies.

3. Termination clauses: Contracts often include termination clauses that outline the conditions under which an employee can be dismissed. This can protect employers from wrongful dismissal claims and help contain the overall exposure. This is one of the main reasons for an employer to have an up-to-date, enforceable, and reasonable contract in place.

4. Provides certainty: Contracts provide certainty and predictability for both parties. They know what to expect from the employment relationship and what will happen if things go wrong. It allows for good discussion at the start, to provide for smoother exits in our high-turnover workforce.

Stay tuned for my next post in this series about Canadian terminations in an anti-at-will environment.

If you are a US employer with employees in Canada, we’d love to work with you. Get in touch!