The following table provides a summary of minimum vacation time off and vacation pay in Canada. A link to the applicable regulations is included for your convenience. The regulations should be consulted in the development of your vacation policy. (Note: some of the links open pdf documents.)
A number of programs exist to facilitate the integration of newly settled immigrants into Nova Scotia’s society. The government has also recognised the need to support francophone immigration and is providing resources to that effect. For the past two years it has funded a unique program which is delivered at the Halifax Campus of Université Sainte-Anne. The program is aimed at Francophone immigrants and combines classroom instruction to upgrade language skills, computer skills, occupational health and safety training, and job hunting skills. The program also provides for a work-term of 12 weeks in a local business, government agency, or not for profit organisation. Depending on the job, a wage subsidy can be available.
HR pros has been working with Université Sainte-Anne and has helped a number of francophone immigrants establish themselves in the labour market over the past two years. All can speak at least 2 languages and some are fluent in English as well. We are currently looking for appropriate employers to provide work experience for 12 weeks for:
- Electrical Engineer with a specialisation in automation
- Candidate with Diploma in Clinical Pharmaceutical Research and Development and Masters in Microbiology
- Industrial Engineer
- Candidate with university degree and 8 years of experience in the fishing industry
- Graduate of the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition
- Child Care provider
- Dress maker
- Personal Care Attendant
These candidates are eager to work and can start immediately. If you want to take advantage of this program and contact Sylvain (902) 877-1887 for more information.
North American Occupational Safety and Health Week (NAOSHW)
The first week of each May is set aside, North American-wide, to focus employers, employees, partners and the public on occupational health and safety. NAOSHW brings awareness to the importance of preventing injury and illness – in the workplace, at home and in the community.
In 2009, 32 Nova Scotians died and 7,200 were hurt while on the job.
“We want workplace health and safety to be forever on the minds of each and every person.” said Labour and Workforce Development Minister Marilyn More. “Any workplace death or injury is one too many,” said Ms. More.
NAOSHW was first launched in June 1997, marked by an agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico. Using the Canadian Occupational Health & Safety Week (COHW) as the foundation, NAOSHW became a landmark cornerstone of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
NAOSHW is an excellent opportunity to reiterate legislated safety policy and programming including:
- your Corporate Safety Statement
- the function and composition of your Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee (JOHS)
- the importance of accident / incident / near miss reporting and your Accident Investigation program
- your Workplace Hazardous Materials System program
- your Housekeeping Inspection Program
- your Prevention of Violence in the Workplace program
For more information on occupational health and safety in Nova Scotia and how to protect yourself at work everyday, visit the department’s website at www.gov.ns.ca/lwd/healthandsafety
Should you require assistance understanding your employer obligations around health and safety programming please contact Sylvain at email@example.com
Another Sick Day….Or is it a Another Snow Day?
Quite unexpectedly for many parents, today is a snow day for children throughout Nova Scotia. Unfortunately, when schools unexpectedly close because of weather, working parents with younger children have to scramble to find alternative child care arrangements. Many of these parents may end up missing work simply because they can’t find a last minute sitter to look after their children.
On school closure days, some parents will take a paid vacation day to cover-off the unplanned absence, while some will be forced to take an unpaid day off work. Others still, may instead choose to take a paid sick day to look after their children. While some parents will be upfront about their predicament and the use of a paid sick day to cover-off a snow day others will call-in complaining of sudden sore throats, flu-like symptoms, or a host of other maladies. It is HR pros belief that when employees feel compelled to fabricate stories to look after their children it is an indication that employee policies are not meeting the needs of the employees or the company.
Employees who must take a sick day for reasons other than sickness are in effect lying about their availability. Employers who accept the sickness reason, knowing full well it is a “white lie”, are tacitly condoning the deception. Further, it casts doubts on those employees who are genuinely sick. The fact is that in this world of competing interests (child care, storm days, doctors appointments, specialist appointments, elder care issues, etc) it might simply be best to not label paid days off as “Sick Days”, and force the lie, but rather to consider instead calling these days Paid Personal Days Off or Paid Familial Days Off.
If your employees can’t make it to work for a personal reason, you don’t wantv a policy to compel them to lie about it. Trust is the cornerstone of a healthy employment relationship. Promote honesty by implementing employee policies that consider the needs of employees AND the goals of the business.