With the new year now upon us, HR leaders should be casting their eyes over what employment law situations they’ll have to grapple with
With the new year now upon us, HR leaders should be casting their eyes over what employment law situations they’ll have to grapple with in 2018.
HRD Canada caught up with Lorenzo Lisi, Partner at Aird & Berlis, who talked to us about the importance of understanding boa fide accommodation in the workplace, as well as giving his advice for organizations going through the courts.
What will be the biggest issues in employment law over the next 12 months?
Accommodation is always a big issue; employers need to ensure employees are accommodated appropriately, but also within the boundaries of the law and the operations of the business. There is also an increasing importance of the need to address and investigate allegations of violence and harassment in the workplace. Employers are of course sensitive to ensuring the workplace is harassment free, but they are now under a lot of pressure to have independent investigations about harassment, which is both time consuming and expensive. It is very important to manage increasing complaints which may result in requests for investigations while still trying to operate the business in an efficient manner.
Do you think there are more grey areas appearing in employment law?
I don’t know that there are more grey areas, but I think what we are seeing is that most employment related laws are remedial in nature, which means that the courts and the tribunals will interpret them in favour of employees because the employees are often in a perceived vulnerable position. This is why process is so important, specifically, doing the right things at the right time.
What’s your one piece of advice for employers dealing with legal issues?
Be diligent. Things are hard – but if you let them go they will become harder. Follow up. Document and keep good notes and most importantly seek advice where necessary. Procrastination is the worst thing an employer can do when it comes to employee issues. Get advice. Implement. Follow up and document.