Paid IDEL Updated July 21, 2022COVID-19 rules continue to change quickly. In a previous blog, we indicated that the paid Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL) would come to an end on July 31, 2022, the deemed IDEL would end on July 31, 2022, and the voluntary IDEL would continue so long as the circumstances leading to an employee’s leave continue and COVID-19 is designated as an infectious disease. Though the end date of the deemed IDEL remains the same and the voluntary IDEL continues to have no set end date, the Ontario government has once again extended the paid IDEL to March 31, 2023. Specifically, on July 21, 2022, the Ontario government filed O. Reg. 464/22: Infectious Disease Emergency Leave, which amends O. Reg. 228/20: Infectious Disease Emergency Leave, by extending Ontario’s paid IDEL days until March 31, 2023.
Continue Reading Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL): Another Update

Probationary Periods: What You Need to KnowIt takes a lot to hire and onboard new employees. As much as you intend to keep each and every one of your new hires, there may be a new employee you hired not too long ago that just isn’t working out. What do you need to know before you let them go?

What is a Probationary Period?

At common law, a clear meaning has generally been attached to the term “probationary employee”. Unbeknownst to many employers, however, the terms “probation” or “probationary period” do not actually appear in the minimum standards legislation of many Canadian jurisdictions. Nonetheless, many of these pieces of legislation do exclude employers from having to give employees a specified amount of notice of termination if the employee has not accumulated a specified amount of service with the employer (typically around 3 to 6 months). For convenience, we will be referring to this amount of service as probation or the probationary period. 
Continue Reading All About Probationary Periods

Gender-Inclusive LanguageRecent legislative changes acknowledge society’s growing understanding of gender diversity in all places, including the workplace. More provinces and territories may follow in adapting their employment legislation to reflect current norms. 

Employers can and should take proactive steps to create inclusive workplaces by acknowledging and promoting gender diversity and making sure to address employees by their preferred pronouns. Failing to do so could lead to potential human rights claims.

In various parts of the country, employment-related legislation has recently been amended to include gender-inclusive language. As society develops an understanding of gender diversity, our legislation is starting to keep up with the times.
Continue Reading Legislation Brings Gender-Inclusive Language

Soaring Inflation Rates and Deflated Wages

As inflation rates have soared in recent months, the impact has been felt by employers and employees alike. According to Statistics Canada, Canada’s inflation rate, now at 7.7%, has skyrocketed at the fastest pace in almost 40 years. This is the highest rate since 1983. 

In an ideal world, wages would keep up with rising inflation rates. Currently, this is not the case across many industries.  

Why wages can’t keep up?

The relationship between inflation, wages and business costs is circular and intertwined. Due to inflation, both the costs of living and the costs of doing business are drastically increasing, making wage increases for many businesses challenging or, in some cases, unsustainable. If a company is able to invest in higher wages, they likely have to increase the prices of their products and/or services to account for their overhead. Thus a further increase in the cost of living.
Continue Reading Soaring Inflation Rates and Deflated Wages

Common Employer Determination: Rahman vs CannonIn a previous blog post, we wrote about the recent Rahman v. Cannon Design Architecture Inc case. Here’s a recap of the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision:

  • 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”)

And more importantly: 

  • 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 

In this blog post, we will dive deeper into the Court’s finding that the three respondent companies were common employers. 
Continue Reading Rahman v Cannon: Common Employer & Termination Clause Updates Part II

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!