HRdownloads Blog

How Are Other Businesses Doing? COVID-19: Immediate Responses and Impact

Posted by HRdownloads on Jul 22, 2020 2:49:00 PM

In April 2020, HRdownloads conducted a survey to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting HR and business leaders in the areas of business operations, workforce management, and customer relations.

With an amazing 1,228 survey responses, this information provides the closest look yet at how small and medium businesses (SMB) have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic across Canada.

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Topics: HR Challenges

Futureproofing the Fine Print: Termination Clauses in Ontario

Posted by HRdownloads on Jul 16, 2020 3:30:00 PM

Common-law awards for termination tend to be substantially greater than the notice or statutory severance payments required under legislation, so employers have long tried to write termination clauses into contracts that explicitly limit employees to their legislative entitlements alone. Over years of complex litigation, Ontario courts frequently have struck down these termination clauses as unenforceable, often for very subtle choices of wording, to the point that it can seem almost impossible to write a contract that will actually hold up in court. Two recent decisions from Ontario courts make this task harder still.

The two decisions, Waksdale v. Swegon North America Inc. and Rutledge v. Canaan Construction Inc., once again narrow the scope of acceptable termination clauses in Ontario employment contracts. Courts generally hold that employers have more power in the workplace, particularly in setting terms of employment contracts, and therefore bear the greater responsibility to craft terms that are legally compliant and do not deprive employees of their legal rights and entitlements. What makes these decisions important is how broadly they read those rights.

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Topics: HR Challenges

Who Gets to Work from Home?

Posted by HRdownloads on Jun 19, 2020 1:11:00 PM

Almost five million Canadians started working from home since March 2020, but not all jobs can be done remotely, and the question of which jobs can—and who has those jobs—is important to answer as we think about how to keep employees safe and begin resuming operations.

Just as the pandemic’s effects were unevenly distributed, endangering some Canadians more than others, there is a very real chance that the recovery efforts will have uneven effects that worsen existing problems.

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Topics: HR Challenges, Canadian Businesses

Changing the Way We Work: How and When to Create a New Role in Your Organization

Posted by HRdownloads on Jun 15, 2020 3:16:00 PM

In response to COVID-19, businesses across Canada have had to make some drastic changes to how they operate. While some organizations had to completely close down, others found ways to keep some elements of the business running and do what was necessary for the company to survive.

Restrictions on what could remain open and social distancing measures disrupted typical operations, but with restrictions easing and many Canadians back at work, new positions in your organization could be required.

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Topics: HR Challenges, Canadian Businesses

Where to Start? The Top Four Tasks HR Professionals Are Working On Right Now

Posted by HRdownloads on Jun 3, 2020 3:30:00 PM

The last few months have been a whirlwind for HR professionals. You’re trying to manage the typical day-to-day in your organization while also tackling new, urgent priorities like technology for remote work and employee engagement.

So what can you do to get it all done?

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Topics: HR Challenges

HR Professionals: Taking Care of Yourself, Too

Posted by HRdownloads on May 28, 2020 3:06:00 PM

HR plays an important role in resolving disputes, addressing concerns and complaints, liaising between employees and management, promoting employee engagement, and disciplining misconduct, among many other tasks. All of these tasks require emotional sensitivity and understanding, and can take a toll on you. While taking care of the mental health and wellness of your employees is a rewarding part of any HR professional’s job, you may forget you need to take care of yourself, too.

As an HR professional, you are often asked to deal with stressful and mentally taxing problems, which can lead to burnout. Adding to the mix lately, HR professionals have had to maintain composure when dealing with very stressed out and concerned employees on top of implementing many new processes. Empathy and compassion are two valuable traits an HR person can have, but we need to take steps to avoid exhausting our capacities for them.

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Topics: Health and Safety, Mental Health, HR Challenges

Mental Health in the Workplace: How Are Your Employees Coping?

Posted by HRdownloads on May 25, 2020 2:35:00 PM

When your employees have a difficult time, do they have somewhere they can go for support? The stigma around mental health issues is slowly fading, but we have more work to do when it comes to supporting mental health and wellness in the workplace.

Everyone goes through difficult times, and it can sometimes feel like those difficult times have become never-ending. What employers and HR professionals do to support employees can make a huge difference in a company’s culture, employee retention, and overall well-being. How you act when an employee is struggling says a lot about what you value as a company. Take a minute to think: what does your organization do right now to help employees overcome adversity and thrive?

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Topics: Health and Safety, Mental Health, HR Challenges

“What if…” The Questions Employers Are Asking

Posted by HRdownloads on May 15, 2020 3:08:00 PM

While we are all working hard to get our lives back as close as possible to our normal routines, employers are worried about what will happen if they have to shut down again. It’s stressful to contemplate going through this again, but it doesn’t help to pretend it’s impossible. You owe it to your organization and your employees to prepare for such outcomes. Employers have also been thinking about how vacation time employees have left will further affect operations.

Is there anything you can do to prepare your business? We received many questions like these after our most recent COVID-19 webinar. We’ll take a look at some of the most popular questions on the topic.

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Topics: Health and Safety, Small Business, HR Challenges

Right to Refuse: Do Employees Have to Go Back?

Posted by HRdownloads on May 8, 2020 2:26:00 PM

You might be excited to get back to work, but are your employees? Some may be saying, “Yes!” but others, “Not so much.” Many of us spent the last couple of months distant from everyone outside our household, so it’s natural that employees have concerns about suddenly returning to their normal routine after spending all this time distant from co-workers, customers, and the public in general.

So what do you do if an employee refuses to return? Or what if an employee is pushing to continue to work from home? We received many questions like these after our most recent COVID-19 webinar. We’ll take a look at some of the most popular questions, but you can also download the full webinar at the bottom of this article to get valuable advice from one of our HR experts.

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Topics: Health and Safety, Small Business, HR Challenges

Resuming Operations: Is It Time to Go Back?

Posted by HRdownloads on May 5, 2020 2:38:00 PM

Are you and your employees tired of working from home? Well, we might have some good news! Many jurisdictions across the country are starting to pull back restrictions, allowing many Canadians to go back to work. While it might still be some time before employees working from home can return to offices, there is hope right now.

There are a few things you need to consider, though: just because you can let everyone come back to work, should you? And, if you choose to, what other challenges may arise? We received many questions like these after our most recent COVID-19 webinar. We’ll take a look at some of the most popular questions, but you can also download the full webinar at the bottom of this article to get valuable advice from one of our experts.

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Topics: Health and Safety, Small Business, HR Challenges

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