Effective workplace policies are essential for both small and large businesses and organizations.
WARDS LAWYERSPC offers employers a turn-key, comprehensive employment and HR management package, including a comprehensive suite of workplace policies (your “HR Package”), simplifying and minimizing your obligations while maximizing your time to focus on growing and developing your business or organization.
Really, it’s that simple. We give you everything you need, in a customized, organized package. You only need to follow the simple instructions. Compliance with Ontario’s employment law and a better workplace is only a meeting away.
Among others, the benefits of having your comprehensive, properly-structured and customized HR Package include:
- minimizing workplace-related disputes with your employees – your HR Package will bring certainty and govern;
- fewer employment management tasks and more time to focus on the growth and development of your business or organization;
- more effective, efficient and optimized management of your employees;
- enhancing employee morale and perceptions of your business or organization in your community;
- compliance with the complicated, hard-to-follow myriad of law applicable to your employees and your workplace, including in the event of an inspection by a Ministry of Labour Enforcement Standards Officer;
- setting and establishing your employees’ expectations, including to minimize wasted managerial time dealing with matters that are addressed directly by your HR Package;
- better protecting your organization or business from manipulation by employees;
- better protecting your organization or business from litigation claims and complaints to regulatory agencies, including because the Court now expects workplace policies to be established in the workplace and, if they are not, it often effects the outcome of a litigation dispute (often negatively for the employer);
- ensuring that you avoid regulatory sanction for not having proper workplace policies in effect (i.e., spot audits by, or investigations by, the Ontario Ministry of Labour, for example); and
- giving you piece of mind that you are not only legally compliant with your employment obligations, but pro-actively organized and maximizing your effective management for the benefit of everyone in your workplace.
- meet with us, so we can audit and evaluate your current practices and needs and obtain the information we may need to design, build and deliver your customized HR Package (which is included in your fixed cost for your HR Package);
- agree on a fixed cost for your HR Package, depending on your needs; and
- give us a brief period to deliver your HR Package to you, both digitally and in paper format.
WORKPLACE POLICIES IN YOUR HR PACKAGE:
Your HR Package will include a comprehensive suite of workplace policies, designed to optimize your workplace and employment management, including:
- a violence, harassment and sexual harassment prevention policy (required by law), including an annual compliance checklist, complaints procedure process and employee feedback system;
- a health and safety policy (required by law)
- a discrimination and diversity policy
- a personal information protection policy
- an accommodation on the basis of disability policy (required by law)
- an Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, (the “AODA”) – Customer Service and Standards policy (required by law)
- an AODA – Employment Standards policy (required by law)
- an AODA – Integrated Accessibility and Information and Communications Standards policy (required by law)
- a personal communications in the workplace policy
- a social medial policy
- a smoking and vaping policy
- a cannabis in the workplace policy (including for the use of medical cannabis)
- a computer, email and Internet use policy
- an absenteeism policy
- a conflict of interest policy
- a mental health first aid officer policy and workplace wellness program
- a conduct and behaviour policy
- a holiday policy
- an overtime policy
- a vacation and vacation pay policy
- an employment expense reimbursement policy
- a joint health and safety committee policy (for employers with twenty or more employees)
- a privacy breach protocol and policy (required by law)
- an administrative leaves and suspensions policy
- an employer references policy
- a deemed legal compliance policy
- a police records check policy (per the new legislation, effective November 1, 2018)
Your HR Package will assist you to establish effective policies to not only comply with, but exceed your obligations under, the AODA, and to improve your protection against claims by employees under human rights legislation, like the (Ontario) Human Rights Code (the “Code”), such as the right to a harassment-free workplace, gender and other discrimination-based complaints and workplace equality.
ADDITIONAL TOOLS IN YOUR HR PACKAGE:
Beyond your suite of workplace policies, your HR Package will include additional tools to help you successfully implement and enforce your policies, such as:
- a corporate resolution by your organization or business to adopt and implement your HR Package, to ensure you lawfully and effectively do so
- acknowledgements to be signed by your employees for their acceptance of your workplace policies and agreement to comply with them
- workplace harassment complaint and investigation forms, so if a complaint is made, you have everything you need on hand ensuring a timely and proper response by you to any complaint
- risk assessment forms and checklists for your workplace, to audit, assess and address your risk factors
CONFIDENTIALITY, PROPERTY AND TECHNOLOGY PROTECTION:
Your HR Package will also include a comprehensive confidentiality and proprietary property agreement for all your existing and new employees to sign, including to protect your business’s or organization’s information, property, technology and operating methods.
USING EMPLOYEES’ INFORMATION TO PROMOTE AND MARKET:
Your HR Package will also include a special form to be signed by your employees enabling you to use their image and likeness to successfully promote and market your business or organization, including protection for your third-party marketing partners and contractors.
MANDATORY WORKPLACE POSTINGS AND NOTICES:
Your HR package will also contain a table, entitled: “Important (Mandatory) Postings and Notices in Your Workplace”, which identifies important and legally required posters, postings and other notices you should promptly post in your workplace.
Often, if you experience a spot audit or investigation by a regulatory authority, such as an Employment Standards Officer from the Ministry of Labour or, if an incident or accident occurs, the regulatory authority will initially investigate if you have your mandatory postings. It is, therefore, very important you have at least the mandatory postings in your workplace.
These required postings primarily relate to Ontario’s law regarding occupational health and safety, employment standards, workplace safety and insurance, accessibility for those with disabilities, smoke-and-vape-free workplaces and pay equity, if necessary. Specifically, these postings are required by, and will ensure you comply with, Ontario’s posting requirements under the:
– Employment Standards Act, 2000, S.O. 2000, c. 41;
– Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.1;
– Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, S.O. 1997, c. 16, Sched A;
– Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017, S.O. 2017, c. 26, Sched. 3;
– Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (Canada);
- Labour Relations Act, 1995, S.O 1995, c.1, Shed. A, as amended; and
– other legislation and regulations that may apply to your workplace.
In addition, we provide you a link at which you can access these posters, postings and other notices directly online, free of charge to you.
Finally, we identify how you should assess your compliance with both the:
– Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, S.O. 2005, c. 11; and
– the Pay Equity Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P. 7,
including providing you links to the online references you will need to do so.
HIRING AND RECRUITING GUIDANCE:
Your HR package will also contain “The Hiring Process – Do’s and Don’ts”, which will offer you assistance, direction and guidance with respect to your hiring and recruiting practices in future, particularly when you conduct interviews with potential new employees.
Your HR package will also contain a “Pre-Termination Checklist”, which will offer you assistance, direction and guidance with respect to your decision-making about terminating any employee in future, including identifying for you the issues you may need to address and your potential obligations arising from the termination.
CHECKLIST – THE TERMINATION MEETING:
We will also provide to you a “Checklist – The Termination Meeting”, which will assist you for planning and preparing for a meeting to terminate an employee and help you identify issues you may need to address and your potential obligations arising from the termination.
We will provide to you a detailed, step-by-step plan and procedure for your implementation of your HR Package, particularly your new suite of comprehensive workplace policies, including specific language for your written communications with your employees for this process, ensuring that they must comply with your new policies.
AODA AND HUMAN RIGHTS CODE TRAINING AND EDUCATION:
We will also provide you, as part of your HR Package, information, guidance and tips to arrange for training and educating your employees under both the AODA and the Code, particularly regarding accommodation and discrimination.
There are excellent, efficient and free-of-charge services available to you to do so, including computer modules to minimize disruption to work time. This should be undertaken to improve your workplace, perception of your business or organization and to minimize potential exposure if any claims were made in future.
WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY TRAINING:
In addition to the AODA and Code education and training, your HR Package will also include information and tips to assist you to train and educate your employees about workplace health and safety. There are excellent module-based, desktop training and education programs available, which are very accessible, free-of-charge.
NO SMOKING AND VAPING SIGNS:
As required by Ontario law and to accompany your new smoking, vaping and cannabis policies, your HR Package will guide and assist you to access and obtain the mandatory signs you must post in the workplace, free of charge.
DELIVERY OF YOUR HR PACKAGE:
We will deliver to you both:
- a compact, highly organized digital version of your HR Package, including your suite of workplace policies, which you would retain digitally and be able to share with your employees; and
- a hard copy of your HR Package, some of which, including your suite of workplace policies, you would make available in your workplace, including for employees to view and reference in future.
Your HR Package is available for a pre-arranged, fixed cost. No hourly rate, no surprises. We would discuss the fixed cost with you after we initially audit and evaluate your workplace’s existing compliance and employment-related needs. The expense for your HR Package is very reasonable, when you consider the potential alternative – very high legal expenses and exposure to liability arising from employee-related claims arising due to a failure to comply with the law.
Following our initial meeting with you, usually we need between three-to-five weeks to prepare and deliver your HR Package to you.
WARDS LAWYERSPC focusses on employment law – we are a leader in this area of law in Central Ontario.
We are available to assist you not only with using your HR Package in future, but any employment-based needs or services you may need. We will discuss and work with you to design and deliver to you an ongoing employment support service, based on our hourly rates and the appropriate lawyers available to assist you, depending on your needs.
Smart, progressive employers in Ontario are establishing and implementing proper workplace policies. You should, too.
Let’s get started.