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Newsletter – JANUARY 2023


Minister O’Regan ratifies C190, the first-ever global treaty on ending violence and harassment in the world of work

On Jan 30, 2023, Seamus O’Regan Jr., the Federal Minister of Labour, ratified the Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (C190) of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland, accompanied by the ILO Director-General, Mr. Gilbert Houngbo. 

C190 is the first-ever global treaty aimed at ending workplace violence and harassment, providing a clear framework to prevent, prohibit, and address such issues.
Previously, workplace violence and harassment were usually addressed in a disconnected way, treated as separate issues of either equality or occupational health and safety.However, C190 calls for the prohibition, prevention, and addressing of violence and harassment in relevant laws, policies, and collective bargaining. Additionally, the treaty recognizes that women and other vulnerable groups of workers are disproportionately affected by these issues and stresses the significance of upholding the right to equality and non-discrimination in employment.
Canada played a leadership role in the Convention’s development, adoption, and advancement, chaired the International Labour Conference standard-setting committee that negotiated the Convention, and participated actively in the international negotiations that led to its adoption. The Government of Canada worked closely with provincial and territorial governments to fulfill its commitment to ratify C190, which applies to all jurisdictions. 

Webinar: Legal Considerations and Practical Tips for the Remote Workplace


Ontario: Business and IT Consultants No Longer Protected by Employment Standards Legislation

As of January 1, 2023, certain “business consultants” and “information technology consultants” in Ontario will no longer be covered by the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”), which provides protection to employees. This modification could grant more flexibility to consultants regarding their work agreements and may substantially reduce a company’s liability towards them. Read the comprehensive article authored by Ljubica Durlovska, an employment attorney at HRC Law Professional Corporation for more information on this recent development.

Read Article


    BC to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a stat holiday

    The province of BC is set to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a paid statutory holiday for all workers. 
    The holiday falls on September 30 every year, and 2023 will mark the first official year of its recognition, according to Labour Minister Harry Bains
    “This decision will give more people the opportunity to honour the strength and resilience of residential school survivors and remember the children who never made it home,” said Bains.
    Previously, only BC government and public sector employees were granted the day off. Private sector businesses had the option to decide whether to give their employees the day off.
    Although the legislation has yet to receive Royal Assent, once it does, BC will declare September 30 as a statutory holiday.
    The federal government, along with Prince Edward Island, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon, have already officially established it as a holiday.


     Schools added to Manitoba list of high-risk industries

    Manitoba has added schools to its list of high-risk industries, which previously included labour-intensive sectors such as manufacturing, construction, foundries, sawmills, and excavation sites. 
    The province made this change before the start of the current academic year by updating its list of high-risk industries. 
    Data from the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba reveals that there were an average of 4.9 workplace injuries per 100 full-time employees in 2021.
    The most frequent injury reported in K-12 schools is classified as “strains, sprains, and tears,” according to Communications Officer Marlene Gockel from the Workers Compensation Board. 
    The province has requested injury and illness data from certain school divisions to initiate a focused enforcement campaign.
    By adding schools to the high-risk industry list, the province aims to address workplace safety concerns and prevent accidents and injuries.

    Free Naloxone Training for Ontario Employers

    Starting June 1, 2023, certain workplaces will be required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to have naloxone on hand in case a worker experiences an opioid overdose.
    Ontario’s Workplace Naloxone Program is providing support to employers to meet the naloxone obligations outlined in the OHSA. 
    This assistance will come in the form of free training for up to two employees per workplace and/or one free nasal spray naloxone kit per workplace. 


    The free training has been available since December 2022. To learn more about accessing this training and these kits, interested employers can contact participating program providers listed below.
    1. Canadian Red Cross
    2. St. John Ambulance


    Are layoffs the only option for companies to stay afloat during a recession? 

    • Yes 34% 34%
    • No 44% 44%
    • It should be the last option 9% 9%
    • Other 13% 13%


    Does your employment contract include restrictive covenants such as non-competition and non-solicitation clauses?

    • Yes
    • No
    • Others – Comment below 


    Workplace Romance: What Canadian Employers Need to Know

    Romance in the workplace can be a tricky topic for employers to navigate. Learning that two of your employees are romantically involved can be a source of stress for many employers. In fact, most employers may prefer to avoid the situation altogether due to the complex employment and human rights issues that can emerge as a result. To better understand the potential risks associated with workplace relationships and how to manage them without creating unnecessary conflict, we invite you to read our latest article.

    Derek Spooner

    Executive Director, Scarborough Arts
    “You feel like you are less alone with these very complex HR issues and when you’re trying to find your way on the internet, HR covered kind of brings that together and gives you and your organization a really great guidance and way forward to manage your team… we have been with HR covered now for over a year and I would say it’s been a really excellent…”