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Business Council of BC report foresees more precarious work, greater income inequality in the future

Topics: - Workforce Trends
Jurisdiction: - All - British Columbia
Sector: - All

The Business Council of British Columbia ("BCBC") has released a report on, "Preparing Canada's Workforce for the Next 150: Part One - Government Driven Solutions" (posted July 5, 2017).

The BCBC states in the report that, based on its reading of the policy and academic literature, these are three reasonable projections of what the labour market is expected to look like in the decades ahead:

  1. employment will be less secure, as we shift from stable, predictable employment to more precarious work.
  2. greater polarization between skilled and non-skilled workers, which in turn tends to aggravate overall income inequality. 
  3. declining quality of jobs, meaning more people are working part-time instead of full-time (often not by choice), more are self-employed, and more are engaged in relatively low-paid work.

The report goes on to review the "levers" that government can use to address these trends, which include investing in the right kinds of education and skills development and continuing to support investment in STEM-related occupations (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science), and the industries that rely on STEM and related technical skills.

The full report can be viewed at the link below.

Gender identity / expression to be added as ground of protection under Canadian Human Rights Act

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal
Sector: - All

The federal government voted on on June 15, 2017 to add gender identity or expression as a prohibited ground of protection under the Canadian Human Rights Act, which applies to federally regulated organizations in Canada.

One it receives Royal Assent, Bill C-16 - also known as the Transgender Rights Bill - will also add gender expression or identity to the Canadian Criminal Code provisions dealing with hate propaganda, incitement to genocide, and aggravating factors in sentencing.

In the House of Commons debate on the legislation Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said:

Bill C-16 reflects our commitment to this diversity and provides for equality and freedom from discrimination and violence for all Canadians, regardless of their gender identity. With the bill, we say loudly and clearly that it is time to move beyond mere tolerance of trans people. It is time for their full acceptance and inclusion in Canadian society.

She then went on to say:  read more »

Recap of changes proposed by Alberta to modernize workplace legislation

Jurisdiction: - Alberta
Sector: - All

Set out below are some of the key changes that will be made to Alberta's Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code if Bill 17 - the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act, is passed.

The bill was introduced by the Alberta government on May 24, 2017, one day after Ontario released the final report in its "Changing Workplaces Review" which proposes amendments to Ontario's Employment Standards Act, 2000 and Labour Relations Act, 1995.

The proposed changes to Alberta's legislation are, according to the government, the result of previous government reviews as well as broad consultations with Albertans, employers, business organizations, labour organizations, municipalities, academics, and advocacy groups. The government states that more than 7,000 submissions were received. Alberta's Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code were both last updated in 1988.

In introducing the changes, the Alberta Minister of Labour, Christina Gray, stated:  read more »

Ontario's "Changing Workplaces Review" final report reccomends significant changes to workplace laws

Jurisdiction: - Ontario
Sector: - All

On May 23, 2017, the final report from Ontario's "Changing Workplaces Review" was released. The Final Report proposes amendments to Ontario's Employment Standards Act, 2000 ("ESA") and Labour Relations Act, 1995 ("LRA") and contains 173 recommendations.

The Ontario report was, notably, released one day before Alberta introduced legislation to modernize its workplace legislation. Specifically, the Alberta bill (Bill 17 - The Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act) proposes to amend its Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code to support family-friendly workplaces and bring Alberta's standards into alignment with the rest of Canada. Stay tuned for a post on Alberta's initiative.

Genesis of Ontario's Changing Workplace Review

The 419-page Final Report is the culmination of a review that the Ontario government committed to in the 2014 Throne Speech and the Ontario Minister of Labour's 2014 Mandate Letter in relation to the review stated:  read more »

Competition Law Issues for HR Professionals in Canada

Jurisdiction: - All - United States
Sector: - All

I came across an interesting article today by Mark C. Katz entitled, "Competition Law Issues for HR Professionals in Canada".

Mark is a lawyer at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP in Toronto. The article was published in December 2016.

You can access the full article at the link below but this is the introduction:  read more »

B.C. business leaders join forces on inclusive employment

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - All

The BC Government announced today that 11 new members were being added to the Presidents Group, a network of business leaders first appointed in 2013 to help increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities and create a more accessible consumer marketplace.  

Tamara Vrooman, president and CEO, Vancity (pictured) and Craig Richmond, president and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority, are the co-chairs of the Presidents Group.

The BC government states that "The Presidents Group is part of the Accessibility 2024 leadership team. This team works with government and the disability community to implement Accessibility 2024, BC's 10-year action plan to become the most progressive province in Canada for people with disabilities."

The 11 new members are:  read more »

HRMA: "Managing the Mobile Workforce: What You Need to Know Before Arranging an International Assignment"

Jurisdiction: - All - United States
Sector: - All

I will be moderating a panel session at the Human Resources Management Association (HRMA) Tradeshow and Conference on May 2, 2017 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

The topic of the session is, "Managing the Mobile Workforce: What You Need to Know Before Arranging an International Assignment", with a focus on the immigration, tax and employment law issues associated with cross border employment. 

The three panelists are:  read more »

Working and Doing Business in Canada: Tax Tips for Immigration Law Practitioners

Jurisdiction: - All - United States
Sector: - All

I attended a presentation yesterday on "Working and Doing Business in Canada: Tax Tips for Immigration Law Practitioners". It was presented by Nupur Rishi - Senior Manager - PwC Law, Global Mobility Services.

Nupar spoke about the personal, payroll and corporate tax considerations that employers must be aware of before sending employees to Canada on work assignments and, as part of this, the misunderstood "183 day" rule.

Photo Credit:  401(K) 2012 

Top 10 Employment Law Cases of 2016

Naomi E. Calla, a lawyer at Borden Ladner Gervais, has written an article on the Top 10 Employment Law Cases of 2016.

The cases and her brief summaries are:  read more »

BC's new pension standards legislation will come into force on September 30, 2015, announces government

Topics: - News Releases - Pensions
Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - All

The BC Ministry of Finance issued the following news release on May 13, 2015 regarding the province's new pension standards legislation:

The Province's new Pension Benefits Standards Act (PBSA), which accommodates alternative pension plan designs and improves plan governance, comes into force on Sept. 30, 2015, Finance Minister Michael de Jong has announced.

The new legislation modernizes the existing policy and regulatory framework for B.C.'s occupational pension plans by replacing the current legislation. It has been largely harmonized with Alberta legislation to streamline the operation of pension plans with members in both provinces.

Key benefits of the PBSA include greater access to financial hardship unlocking, enabling the establishment of target benefit plans, and enhanced disclosure and governance of pension plans.  read more »