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  • HR Heartbeat: Bans on Canadian experience requirements, new first aid rules in B.C., and...

HR Heartbeat: Bans on Canadian experience requirements, new first aid rules in B.C., and...

In our final HR Heartbeat of the year, discover why employers in B.C. need to up their first aid game, how an employer won an employee’s claim of unpaid wages and lots more.

First published on Wednesday, Dec 13, 2023

Last updated on Wednesday, Dec 13, 2023

6 min read

Have you heard the latest news?

Welcome to our final HR Heartbeat for 2023, where we give you a rundown of the week's top employment law stories. Stay on the pulse of current trends impacting your business. Plus get up-to-the-minute commentary on all things HR and legal.

So, let's check out this week's headlines...

Don't just slap a band-aid on that

Employers in B.C. must prepare to review their existing first aid policies and procedures as new Occupational First Aid Regulatory changes have been approved and will take effect in November 2024.

Making sure your workers stay safe on the job and get the right first aid when there's a workplace injury is vital. That's why the province created new amendments to strengthen first aid training and kit requirements, especially in high-risk industries.

It'll also align B.C.'s OHS regulations with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) framework on workplace first aid training and kit equipment requirements.

More updates and guidelines on what to include in your first aid kits will be published in early 2024. Since this update affects all employers in the province, you'll have to keep a close eye on that and make sure all your first aid providers complete new mandatory first aid training.

Our Learning Management System, BrightLearn, is packed with free, mandatory health & safety training to help upskill your staff in line with industry requirements.

I'll take my severance cheque, please!

A recent case out of a small claims court in British Columbia (B.C.) is a cautionary tale for employees hoping to make a quick buck.

The court dismissed a claim by a former employee of Buy Rite Office Furnishings, simply identified as D.P.

The former employee brought a claim of $4,200 in unpaid wages and vacation pay after resigning from his job within two days of being hired.

After his initial two days, D.P. turned in his three-week resignation notice as stated in his employment contract. The business responded by immediately terminating him without pay, which didn't sit right with D.P.

D.P. argued that the company terminated his employment without paying him for the three weeks of notice he provided. However, the Civil Resolution Tribunal sided with Buy Rite's interpretation of the contract, which referenced B.C.'s Employment Standards Act (ESA).

The ESA does not require compensation for employees terminated within three months of employment. Therefore, the Tribunal ruled that Buy Rite was justified in not paying D.P. for the notice period and that D.P. was not entitled to vacation pay. The Tribunal dismissed D.P.'s claims in their entirety.

This case is the perfect example of why having a watertight employment contract with a detailed termination clause is essential. Access comprehensive employment contracts for all provinces in our document library BrightBase.

Let's have some of that famous Canadian hospitality, eh?

It's not unusual for employers in regulated professions to ask for 'Canadian experience' in job postings. But as of December 2, 2023, all unfair requirements for Canadian experience from qualified immigrants to issue them a license to work in Ontario will be automatically invalid unless an exemption is granted by the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development for public health and safety.

Any employers in regulated professional associations disregard this regulation and continue asking job applicants for Canadian experience could face fines of up to $100,000. Recent changes to the Fair Access to Regulated Professions and Compulsory Trades Act introduced by the Working for Workers Act, 2021, banned regulated professions from asking for Canadian work experience in 36 non-health-related professions and trades.

Professional associations must review their license application practices and procedures to make sure that “Canadian work experience” is not a condition for applying for a license for skilled immigrants.

To help avoid these costly fines, it's best practice to review your recruitment practices to make sure you're conducting recruitment in line with legislation. Need help creating job postings? Our Turbo Talent Navigator is just what you need to streamline your recruitment process and make hiring new talent a breeze.

That's it for 2023! Come back next year for more HR news so you stay ahead of major employment law changes.

Have more questions on similar topics and more? BrightLightning has thousands of answers to all your HR and health & safety dilemmas.

How do I complete a first aid assessment in B.C.?

A first aid assessment allows employers to evaluate the implementation of first aid services and inventory requirements. When conducting a first aid assessment, an employer must identify the workplace hazard rating, the surface travel time to a hospital, and the number of works on a shift. Do you need a first aid assessment? Our Health & Safety experts can assist you in ensuring your organization is compliant with regulations. Employers can also find a First Aid Assessment Form on their BrightSafe account.

What's the process to terminate someone in their probation period?

Employers are entitled to terminate an employee on probation without cause. Generally, employers set the length of a probation period to correlate to the triggering time period for statutory termination entitlements. Employers that consider terminating the employment relationship of someone on probation must pay the employee their minimum statutory notice of termination if the employee has reached the minimum length of service threshold. The minimum statutory notice of termination varies across Canadian jurisdictions (between 1 or 2 weeks of termination notice). The requirement to provide termination notice is triggered when the employee’s length of service has reached: 30 -days in Manitoba, 3 -months in Ontario, British Columbia, the Federal Jurisdiction, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, 91 -days in Alberta, 13 -weeks in Saskatchewan, or 6 -months in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. It is best practice that a probation clause in the employment contract does not deprive the employee of statutory notice of termination.

Can I include citizenship or permanent residency requirement in job postings?

Job postings should be based on valid requirements and avoid reference to prohibited grounds of discrimination. Even though citizenship is not a protected characteristic in human rights legislation of every Canadian jurisdiction, it is best practice for employers not to risk receiving a discrimination claim against them. Employers should review their company job applications to ensure compliance with human rights legislation in your jurisdiction.

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