What’s Involved in HR Legal Issues?
Savvy employers make it their business to ensure their management team is current and knowledgeable about all employment-related laws that affect their business, thus preventing costly and time-consuming complaints and investigations.
Employee performance affects company performance. If you express clear expectations to your employees, you—and your company—will enjoy increased motivation. This translates directly into clearly measurable goals, improved morale, a happier workplace and higher profits. There are several federal, provincial and municipal laws and statutes that relate specifically to employment and will be important for you.
- For employers who are non-unionized, the Employment Standards Act will tell you about wages, meal breaks, payroll, overtime, termination of employment, leaves, and vacation
- For employers who are unionized or who are undergoing a certification drive by a trade union, or who think they may be, these employers can get information about labour issues in the Labour Relations Code
- The Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) includes requirements about privacy issues, such as the collection, use, disclosure and storage of employee personal information. For more information, visit the Office of Information and Privacy Commissioner.
- The BC Human Rights Code provides information about discriminatory practices in employment, wages, and employment advertisements
- Federally-regulated employers must be prepared to comply with the Federal Employment Equity Act, which states: “The purpose of this Act is to achieve equality in the workplace so that no person shall be denied employment opportunities or benefits for reasons unrelated to ability and, in the fulfillment of that goal, to correct the conditions of disadvantage in employment experienced by women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities by giving effect to the principle that employment equity means more than treating persons in the same way but also requires special measures and the accommodation of differences” See Workplace Equity: Legislation and Agreements for more information
- You must accept Canadian standards regarding hiring practices, which should be non-partisan and should help build a workforce that represents the diversity of Canadian society
- In BC, workers’ compensation for small businesses falls under a program known as WorkSafeBC, which covers—among other things—injury on the job, occupational health and safety matters, and provides publications such as the Small Business Primer: A Guide to the WCB. This free publication was developed in partnership with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) in an effort to provide useful information for small business owners
- As an employer you are responsible for making the appropriate deductions from your employee payroll, documenting these transactions and providing the information to the Canada Revenue Agency. Payroll services can be outsourced to external service providers, such as ADP and Ceridian. Payroll services are also provided for small to medium-sized businesses at virtually every Canadian bank
- Before a foreign worker may work in Canada, you, as an employer, must check with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) to confirm the job offer you have made to the foreign worker.
- Find out the details about what you must do before hiring a foreign worker. Citizenship and Immigration Canada also has plenty of information regarding rules and regulations of temporarily working in Canada
HOW WILL THIS KNOWLEDGE HELP MY BUSINESS?
Employers of choice make it part of their business to ensure their management team is current and knowledgeable about all employment-related laws that affect their business. Not only does this send a message that your employees can expect fair, consistent treatment, it also prevents costly and time-consuming complaints and investigations.