Employment Standards: The Details
I just attended another webinar of the dozens I have this year.
This one was on Overview of Employment Standards Code. There are so many unique situations employers face and it is difficult to know how to apply legislation. We've seen many employers taking risks as they are not aware of how legislation relates to them. Sometimes just crossing their fingers hoping they are not reported. We know from experience that putting in the effort up front to be compliant saves time, energy, and money.
Here are some answers to common questions:
If an employee requests to be paid our their vacation instead of taking it, can I do that?
Yes and No. Employees can be paid out their vacation, but employers are still required to allow them the time away from work. Therefore an employee who has been with you 4 years and under would be entitled to 2 weeks vacation (4% accumulation) and could be paid out their vacation, however you are still required to provide them with 2 weeks away from work.
Does Bereavement Leave apply to part timers as well?
Yes, the code does not distinguish between full and part time for this topic.
Does a "good friend" passing qualify and employee for Bereavement Leave?
It could! This person could qualify under "a person the employee isn't related to but considers to be like a close relative" (last bullet point under Employees family members). We have seen this distinction be tricky for employers.
Often I receive questions as to whether an uncle or aunt qualifies and they do. A good rule of thumb is "would they be sitting around your table at Christmas dinner or another important family celebration?" if yes then you do need to grant your employee leave.
In regards to the new Long Term Illness and Injury Leave, what information can I ask for in order to grant leave?
The employee must provide you with "reasonable written notice", implied in there is that the employee provides you with a letter stating they require this leave. The employee should provide as much notice as possible. It should include a medical certificate which includes how long the employee is expected to be off.
You can find a list of medical certificates here. Employment Standards also has a great list of leaves here (or click on image). I reference this document frequently as each leave has it's own qualifications, length of leave, documentation, and notice required.
Why bother instituting all of this, who is monitoring this anyway?
Employment Standards Officers do! An employee may have submitted a complaint or tip and employers can face a variety of consequences for not complying including lawyer fees and the options in the below image:
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