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Category Archives: Human Capital

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The Government of Canada launches a new Global Skills Strategy

Posted in Human Capital, Immigration, Recruiting, Temporary Foreign Worker Program

On June 12, 2017, the Government of Canada launched its new Global Skills Strategy, with the intent of providing employers with a faster and more predictable process for attracting top talent and new skills to Canada, stimulating economic growth, and creating more middle-class jobs for Canadians. In particular, the Global Skills Strategy aims to support high-growth Canadian companies that need to access global talent. The government also hopes the Strategy will result in global companies (i) making large investments in Canada, (ii) relocating to Canada, (iii) establishing new production in Canada, and/or (iv) expanding existing production in Canada, all with … Continue Reading

Fishing for Notice: British Columbia Supreme Court addresses inducement and contingency factors in wrongful dismissal suits

Posted in Employer Obligations, Recruiting, Termination

In a recent BC Supreme Court decision, Sollows v. Albion Fisheries Ltd., the court clarified what qualifies as inducement in the context of a reasonable notice period assessment.  The court also took a novel approach to contingency, which can arise where the hearing takes place before the end of the employee’s reasonable notice period.


Don Sollows’ employment was terminated in July, 2016, by Albion Fisheries Ltd. This was Mr. Sollows’ second employment stint with Albion – he previously worked for Albion for 19 years, from about 1985 to 2004.  In 2004, Mr. Sollows accepted the role of senior … Continue Reading

Doing Business in Canada 2017: Read the latest updates to our popular guide

Posted in Employer Obligations, Employment Standards, Human Capital, Human Rights


McCarthy Tétrault’s Doing Business in Canada provides a user-friendly overview of central aspects of the Canadian political and legal systems that are most likely to affect new and established business in Canada. The newest edition includes sections on: Immigration (at page 129); Employment (at page 151); and Dispute Resolution (at page 171).

General guidance is included throughout the publication on a broad range of discussions. We also recommend that you seek the advice of one of our lawyers for any specific legal aspects of your proposed investment or activity.

Download the updated guide.Continue Reading

Owner/Operator Labour Market Impact Assessment and its importance for Permanent Residence applications in 2017

Posted in Human Capital, Immigration, Legislative Requirements, Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Any Canadian employer wishing to employ a temporary foreign worker (“TFW”) in Canada must first obtain authorization from the government, which is typically obtained by proving that the hiring of a TFW will not negatively impact the Canadian labour market.  In most cases, the Canadian employer must apply to Employment and Social Development Canada, also known as Service Canada, for approval of the Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”), previously called a Labour Market Opinion or LMO.  A LMIA is a very detailed application process that is subject to a high level of review, and must be … Continue Reading

BC revamps Provincial Nominee Program with enactment of Provincial Immigration Programs Act and Regulation

Posted in Human Capital, Immigration, Legislative Changes

The Provincial Immigration Programs Act, S.B.C. 2015, c. 37 (“PIPA“) and the Provincial Immigration Programs Regulation (“Regulation“) came into effect on February 1, 2017.

PIPA strengthens the administration of the Province’s immigration programs and designates decision-making authority for the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (“PNP“) to the director, provincial immigration programs.

The Regulation governs the delivery of the PNP, which is British Columbia’s only direct economic immigration tool. Specifically, the Regulation:

  1. grants authority to collect PNP fees,
  2. sets out the amount of PNP fees,
  3. allows for inspections to be conducted to monitor compliance
Continue Reading

Doing Business in Canada 2016: Read the latest updates to our popular guide

Posted in Employee Obligations, Employer Obligations, Employment Standards, Human Capital, Human Rights


McCarthy Tétrault’s Doing Business in Canada provides a user-friendly overview of central aspects of the Canadian political and legal systems that are most likely to affect new and established business in Canada. The newest edition reflects legislative changes including:

  • Changes to the Competition Act and Investment Act Canada;
  • and an updated Mergers and Acquisitions chapter including new rules on takeover bids in Canada.

General guidance is included throughout the publication on a broad range of discussions. We also recommend that you seek the advice of one of our lawyers for any specific legal aspects of your proposed investment or activity.… Continue Reading

“Virtual Slave” Awarded $50,000 for Injury to Dignity

Posted in Discrimination, Family Status, Human Rights, Immigration, Wage and Hours

Human Rights Tribunal found nanny was sexually assaulted, isolated and underfed by employer

Where an employer fails to meet its human rights obligations, the damages awards for the “injury to dignity” component of damages are becoming increasingly significant. The recent decision of the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal in PN. v. FR and another (No. 2), is an example of the scale of penalty an employer can face where the breach of human rights obligations is at the extreme end of the scale.

The complainant, a domestic worker from the Philippines, was placed with the respondents as a housekeeper … Continue Reading

Temporary Foreign Workers: New Fees and Regulatory Changes

Posted in Human Capital, Immigration, Legislative Changes, Temporary Foreign Worker Program

We previously posted on the public outcry over and the federal government’s commitment to revising the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (“TFWP”) here and here .

New fees and regulatory changes for the TFWP are set to take effect on February 21, 2015. Our colleagues in Montréal have published a helpful article to help employers understand how these new fees and regulatory changes may impact their engagement with the TFWP. The full text of the article can be read here.

In light of the scrutiny the TFWP has been experiencing of late, this may not be the last set of changes … Continue Reading

How Not To Fill A Labour Shortage

New Challenges for Employers under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Posted in Discrimination, Human Capital, Immigration, Recruiting, Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Since we last posted about the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (“TWFP”) here and here, the federal government has, in the face of political pressure, introduced significant changes to the program. Employers now face greater challenges and cost in addressing labour shortages through the use of temporary foreign workers (“TFWs”).

First, employers are now subject to a cap on the proportion of their workforce which can be filled by low wage TFWs. A “low wage” job is any job which pays below the provincial or territorial median wage. Employers with ten or more employees can employ only 10% of their … Continue Reading

British Columbia Privacy Commissioner Recommends Limits on Police Information Checks

Employers who rely on police information checks to assess the suitability of prospective employees may now have to make do with less information.

Posted in Privacy, Recruiting

In an investigation report released this month, the British Columbia Information and Privacy Commissioner made recommendations which will limit information disclosed by police departments in employment-related police information checks.

Until recently, police departments in British Columbia have included information about prior criminal convictions, outstanding charges, contact with the police during an investigation (e.g., as a suspect or witness), and apprehensions under the Mental Health Act in employment-related police information checks. These checks are done with the consent of the employee, for employers and employees who are not covered by the Criminal Records Review Act (“CRRA”) (previously discussed here).

The … Continue Reading

Temporary Foreign Worker Program Under Fire

Posted in Immigration, Temporary Foreign Worker Program

It is no secret that the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is under attack.  Personally, it is a concern that the government has suspended a significant part of the TFWP based on allegations that a small number businesses have allegedly abused the TFWP (at this point, the claims remain allegations, although it seems likely that some abusers will be exposed).  Why do the legitimate businesses – by far the majority – have to suffer the same fate as the alleged abusers?  Would the government suspend a significant part of the EI program if it received allegations of EI fraud?  If, … Continue Reading

Federal Government Promises Major Changes to Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Posted in Human Capital, Immigration, Recruiting, Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Canadian employers have been promised a more streamlined, effective and engaging process for hiring skilled foreign workers.  Following an initial announcement in October of last year, the Government of Canada recently issued a news release providing further details on its new system for qualified economic immigrants, called “Express Entry”, which is set to launch in January 2015.  The new system is portrayed as a “game changer” for Canadian employers seeking skilled workers from other countries.

Canada’s Minister for Citizenship and Immigration (“CIC”), Chris Alexander, touted the following benefits of the new system:


  • greater flexibility and responsiveness to regional labour
Continue Reading

Proposed Employment Law Reform in Ontario

Bill 146 Worth Watching

Posted in Employment Standards, Immigration, Investigations, Litigation, Occupational Health and Safety, Unions, Wage and Hours, Workers Compensation

The Ontario government has introduced a bill to make significant changes to employment law in that province.  Every BC employer with employees in Ontario should follow the course of these proposed changes.

As our colleagues in Ontario note, the Bill may not become law under the current government, but the proposals are wide-ranging and follow earlier Law Reform Commission recommendations.  See their analysis here.… Continue Reading

BC Refines its Criminal Record Checks Regime

Employers' Rights Preserved

Posted in Privacy, Recruiting

The Province has made it possible for employees and volunteers to rely on a single criminal record check for a five year period with multiple employers, yet an employer’s right to require a criminal record check in every case is preserved.

The Province has made some important amendments to the Criminal Records Review Act (the “Act”), directed mostly at employees and volunteers who work with children or vulnerable adults but which could also impact employers. The Criminal Records Review Amendment Act (the “CRRAA”) came into force on November 30, 2013, and includes these changes that will … Continue Reading

Best of the Blogs

Items of Interest for BC Employers

Posted in Employee Obligations, Employment Standards, Human Capital, Human Rights, Litigation, Privacy, Termination, Wage and Hours

Our firm now publishes 10 different blogs, and they often have items of interest for BC employers.  Here is a sampling of recent posts:

Customer Contacts on Linkedin = Property of the Employer – good news from the UK courts.

Five Employment Issues Facing Retailers – similar issues for retailers in BC.

Notices of Termination – can you terminate an employee before the effective date of their resignation?

Restrictive Covenants and Sale of a Business – how are they interpreted and when will they be enforced?

10 Things You Should Know About BC’s New Limitation Act – including reducing the … Continue Reading

Temporary Foreign Miners Allowed

Federal Court dismisses union challenge

Posted in Human Capital, Immigration, Recruiting, Unions

Our Federal Court has dismissed a court challenge by two unions against HD Mining.  The unions claimed that the company hired more than 200 temporary Chinese workers for its coal mine in Tumbler Ridge in northeastern BC, while deliberately ignoring or passing over many qualified and willing Canadian applicants.

The International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 115, and the Construction and Specialized Workers Union claimed that HD Mining obtained labour market opinions (“LMOs”) to bring about 200 temporary foreign workers from China, after rejecting multiple Canadian applicants with exemplary qualifications.  The company claimed that there was a lack of expertise … Continue Reading

If Employees are Telecommuting …

Bucking the Yahoo! Trend

Posted in Employee Obligations, Employment Standards, Human Capital, Occupational Health and Safety, Wage and Hours

Telecommuting may be on the way out at Yahoo! but it is very much alive elsewhere.  So if you have employees who are working from home, or if you are considering it,  you should think through the employment issues.

The first question is:   Do you have a written agreement to set out the telecommuting rules?  If not, you need one.

The next question is:  What does the telecommuting agreement need to address?  Here is a list of some issues to consider:

  • How do you monitor and manage hours of work?   Unless you fit into one of the exemptions in the
Continue Reading

Month in Review

Posted in Accommodation, Age, Benefits, Compensation, Pensions, Damages, Discipline, Discrimination, Employee Obligations, Employment Standards, Family Status, Human Capital, Human Rights, Immigration, Investigations, Just Cause, Labour Relations, Litigation, Murphy's Laws of HR, Privacy, Recruiting, Termination, Unions, US vs.Canadian Employment Law, Wage and Hours, Workers Compensation, Wrongful Dismissal

The bloggers of BC Employer Advisor issued our first Month in Review to summarize our most recent posts.

Visit the summary here.

 … Continue Reading

Privacy Commissioner investigates Criminal Records Checks

Posted in Human Capital, Privacy, Recruiting

On July 25, 2012 the British Columbia Information and Privacy Commissioner released an investigation report regarding the use of employment related criminal record checks by the Government of British Columbia. The Commissioner concluded that the Government’s current policy with respect to criminal records checks contravenes the Freedom of Information and Protect of Privacy Act as, among other things, it fails to achieve the balance required between the government’s business needs as an employer and the privacy rights of employees. She made a number of recommendations and concluded by expressing her concern about the societal trend towards increased employment related criminal … Continue Reading

Overtime Class Actions and the Special Position of BC Employers

Posted in Discrimination, Employment Standards, Human Capital, Immigration, Recruiting, Wage and Hours

Big news from Ontario on overtime claims – the Court of Appeal will allow claims for statutory overtime by CIBC and Bank of Nova Scotia employees to proceed as class actions.

Fortunately for British Columbia employers, such class actions are still not possible in British Columbia.

CIBC won the first two rounds of the fight, and BNS was hoping to get the same break at the Ontario Court of Appeal.  Instead, both class action claims have been certified, allowing the overtime claims on behalf of the banks’ employees to proceed.  Subject to appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada, employees … Continue Reading

Job Applicants and Social Media – Privacy Considerations

Posted in Discrimination, Human Capital, Human Rights, Privacy, Recruiting

There has been a lot of recent talk of employers asking job applicants for social media passwords.  The idea is fraught with problems for employers and it is far from clear that the information gained makes the problems and risks worthwhile.

Many of the issues are usefully canvassed in a piece in today’s Globe.

BUT – there is a danger for employers in British Columbia.  The piece in the Globe suggests that the only restriction on an employer asking an applicant for a social media password is human rights.  But under the Personal Information Protection Act (British Columbia), there … Continue Reading

Human Capital: Recruiting and Retaining Talent

Posted in Human Capital, Immigration, Recruiting

The world’s economic struggles continue and Canada’s economic recovery is affected. Even so, we at least are doing relatively well and one measure is renewed talk of the challenge of recruiting and retaining talent. While unemployment remains high, many skilled job openings are unfilled.  This is both a current drag on economic growth and a long-term concern that we may be creating a permanent class of the un- or under-employed.

The recent Federal Budget addressed some human capital issues with some initiatives on Employment Insurance and Immigration. The Budget also addressed Old Age Security and the size of the federal … Continue Reading