Navigating Employee Accommodations in the Post-Pandemic WorkplaceBack to Sweaters, School, and the Office – Oh My! 

For many, September marks the start of a new year. Yes, yes, we know January is the real first month of the year but September marks the end of summer holidays, kids going back to school, and many workforces who had modified summer schedules tend to resume their regular working hours in the Fall. While these used to be pretty standard and expected changes pre-pandemic, employees are now finding these organizational shifts to be more challenging than ever. In turn, employers are facing new accommodation issues and are trying to keep up. From employees wanting to work from home to family obligations to mental health and stress, here is everything you need to know about accommodating your employees. 
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Hey Ontario Employers!  Are you burnt out and overwhelmed with all of the HR Law fires you’re always putting out and the struggle of just keeping up with legal compliance?  We have built a brand-new legal solution called the Boss Law Bootcamp!  Check out the video below and/or visit our website to learn more!

age and gender discrimination in the workplaceIt has been only a few weeks since Lisa LaFlamme, CTV National News’ former chief anchor and senior editor,  shared on Twitter that Bell Media terminated her contract after over 30 years with the company. Her termination has since made international news due to allegations of age and gender discrimination. The company’s Vice President has announced a leave of absence and other employees have publicly raised concerns about a toxic work environment. 

Age discrimination is likely to become a more common allegation against employers given the general demographics of our workforce. The proportion of working-age people in Canada who are between the ages of 55 and 64 is at an all-time high of 21.8%.  
Continue Reading Lessons in Managing an Aging Workforce: Terminations

HR law toolkit: Boss Law BootcampHello Friends of SpringLaw!

We hope your summer has gone well! 

For many of our employer clients, it’s time to get back to business, solidify HR law systems and post-pandemic norms and to gear up for a busy fall.

We want to make that easy for you – we’re excited to announce the launch of our new Boss Law Bootcamp. This comprehensive online program is designed for both new employers not sure where to start as well as boss pros who all need to keep their legal templates and resources up to date.

The Bootcamp includes the up-to-date core HR law contracts and policies you must have in place today, plus bonus guides & checklists AND time with our employment lawyers to customize and help you with the how of implementing the legal infrastructure. We want this to be effortless and quick for you.

And we have an Early Bird price until Sept 15!

Packed with practical knowledge, templates, policies and practices!


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Remote and Hybrid Working ArrangementsAs SpringLaw’s Lisa Stam outlined in a recent article, since the pandemic, we’ve been seeing more workplaces shift to either a fully remote or a hybrid working arrangement. This shift brings in a whole new set of questions surrounding what employers’ obligations are to their employees working from home and what policies to have in place. Here’s the lowdown on what employers need to know about remote and hybrid working arrangements. 

What is a Remote or Hybrid Working Arrangement? 

An entirely remote working arrangement is pretty self-explanatory. Employees work from home on a full-time basis and are never required to go into an office. A hybrid working arrangement, on the other hand, has become much more common since the pandemic. It incorporates both remote and in-office work. Being a newer concept, employers are still figuring out what this arrangement looks like for their company. Some employers set the days that an employee is required to be in the office, whereas other employers will set how many days a week an employee should be in the office but the employee ultimately chooses the days. With both these working arrangements gaining popularity, it’s important for employers to be mindful of changing demands and their legal obligations to employees working from home. 
Continue Reading What Employers Need to Know about Remote and Hybrid Working Arrangements in Ontario

New Electronic Monitoring Policy: The What, How and Why for EmployersOntario has taken the lead in terms of enhancing employer transparency in the workplace and ensuring that workers are able to disconnect from their work. Now that employers with 25 or more employees (as of January 1, 2022) must have a Disconnect From Work Policy, it’s time for employers to calendar more Covid-driven workplace requirements. This same employer group must have an Electronic Monitoring Policy prepared by October 11, 2022, and rolled out within 30 days, by November 10, 2022. These are both policies that employees are actually reading, so it’s worth the advance planning by employers. 

Bill 88, the Working for Workers Act 2022 became law in April and requires employers to be transparent about how they monitor their employees’ use of devices such as computers, cell phones and GPSs. 
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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 30, 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.
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