Dear Mainstay Clients,
We periodically like to remind our clients that Mainstay has entered into a program with ConnectsUs HR ™ to provide HR Resources. We currently have about 1/3 of our clients signed up and using the the site. If you have not yet checked it out, please do so HERE…
Your free access to the proven HR & COVID-19 toolkit lets you:
- Stay on top of the pandemic as it relates to your workforce with the COVID-19 Portal, notifications about important announcements, resources & templates.
- Gain continued access to pre-written templates and legislated updates, including jurisdiction-specific Employee Handbook updates for 5 provinces.
- Explore the latest and greatest content that’s continually added, including the most popular HR kits with detailed instructions:
- Basic employee handbooks and comprehensive employee manuals for 5 provinces
- Contracts & agreements
- Pre-written and comprehensive job descriptions common to all small businesses
- COVID-19 and legislation resources
Yesterday CGIB hosted a webinar to educate advisors on the drug programs available in each province. We had members from almost every province share how their system worked for their residents. Each province varies widely, especially when it comes to high cost drugs. It pays to understand what programs may be available.
How does this pertain to you? With many people working remotely, we will likely see more employees working from further away and in fact, from across Canada. We have posted a page with links to each provinces programs if you or your staff need help accessing services or finding out more.
As employees prepare their taxes, you may get some questions on expenses for those working from home during COVID. The attached article, and calculator from CRA, may provide some assistance to you and your staff if questions arise.
Home office expense calculator for employees
April 30 is fast approaching, and employers are facing an unprecedented number of questions from employees regarding claiming home office expenses. With the transition to working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees are wondering if they are eligible to claim home office expenses on their 2020 income tax returns.
We’ve had a few clients reach out about public COVID vaccinations and how they might get them. In Ontario there are a few areas that are being set up for a private vaccination pilot. If you’re between 60 and 64, the details are below.
If you’re in another province or area, check your local regional government site for details.
Starting March 10, 2021, select pharmacies in the following public health units are booking appointments for AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines for eligible people between the ages of 60 and 64 (at the day of vaccination or, if you will be or have been 60 to 64 in 2021):
- Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington
- Windsor-Essex County
You must have an appointment to get vaccinated at a participating pharmacy.
Employers with employees in Ontario often ask us to confirm legislative requirements under various employment statutes, including mandatory postings, training, and policies under the Employment Standards Act, 2000, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and the Accessibility for Ontarian’s with Disabilities Act.
To make this information conveniently available, the Littler Toronto team has assembled these requirements into a single publication. An updated version of this publication can now be accessed through the link below.
These apply to ALL Ontario Employers. Make sure you are compliant.
Recent legal cases have made many employment agreements null and void. It may be time for you to update yours and if you don’t have them in place, implement them now.
In order to help with this process Mainstay Insurance makes ConnectsUs HR available to all our clients at no charge. They have made changes to their employment agreements in consideration of the Waksdale case. If you’re already signed up, log in and find out more here. If you’re a Mainstay clients and not currently signed up, give me a call and we’ll get you set up.
If you’re looking for more on the case, see below
At this point, we’re all likely familiar with the Waksdale v Swegon North America Inc., 2020 ONCA 391 (Waksdale) case, in which the Ontario Court of Appeal held that termination clauses in Ontario employment agreements are read as a whole.
On January 14, the Supreme Court of Canada denied an application to appeal the Ontario Court of Appeal decision.
I’ve seen several articles on an employers ability to dictate being vaccinated. I thought it might be useful to share this to help employers understand they may be required to accommodate employees that do not wish to be vaccinated. This can create a conflict with the requirement to maintain a safe workplace. I don’t think we’ve heard the end of the the issue and personally can’t wait til it’s my turn to get the shot and travel again (once safe of course).
EMPLOYERS UNABLE TO MANDATE COVID SHOT
Until provincial governments or their public health officers specifically direct that individuals are vaccinated against COVID-19, there is no specific legal authority to compel an employee or individual to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine, says Richard Press, a partner at DLA Piper. “In other words, you cannot require one of your employees to take the vaccine,” he said at its ‘Vaccines in the Workplace: Rights and Limitations on Requiring Vaccination.’ Absent legislation, employers are unlikely to be able to mandate vaccinations without facing a risk of either human rights or civil claims. It bears mentioning, he said, that across Canada, the health authorities have indicated there is no intention to legislate that employees must be vaccinated. However, not getting vaccinated could have consequences impacting the ability to work in certain settings. For example, employees who travel on business may need to show they have been vaccinated if they want to fly. Employers across Canada have a duty to take every reasonable precaution to ensure that the workplace is safe and most employers will be able to do so without mandating employees get vaccinated, he said. This can be done by allowing employees to continue to work remotely or modifying hours of work so the employees can work in an environment where physical distancing can be maintained. There is also an obligation to protect workers from exposure to COVID-19 through adjusting health and safety plans, screening employees, requiring workers and visitors to wear appropriate PPEs. Vaccines should be considered as well, he said.