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Tips for Remotely Onboarding Your International Employees

Posted by Anna Mastrandrea


Dec 22, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Tips-for-Remotely-Onboarding-Your-International-Employees---compressor.jpgWhenever you hire a new employee, onboarding is the most crucial step to acclimating the individual to your company procedures, culture, and structure. But when hiring internationally, this can be challenging. For U.S. companies operating businesses north of the border, it's important to fully accommodate Canadian employees from the beginning.

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When onboarding these remote employees, consider the following tips to make the process as effective as possible. From Canadian payroll for US companies to simple document sharing, there are ways to navigate every detail smoothly.

Take Advantage of Video Calls

If your new employee can't be in the office, bring the office to them. Have as many meetings as possible over video call since you and the employee will benefit from putting a face to the name they are speaking with. When going over documents, you can also use screen sharing technology to make the process easier.

Create Unique Documents

Your onboarding presentations and documents that you use for in-house employees should not be the same as those used for you your international employees. Since there are so many logistical differences, such as payroll, it's best to keep all of these details separate.

Ask What the Employees Want out of This Process

If you choose to listen, the employee may be willing to give valuable feedback on your process. For example, you may not be handling payroll and other details as well as you could. Ask them clearly about their expectations and what they want to learn.

Provide Thorough Online Resources

Since you can't hand them a stack of papers, be sure to provide your employee with adequate resources through a cloud sharing service or via email. This will allow them to reference it freely and contact you directly with questions.

Hire a Professional Employer Organization

Many U.S. companies are hesitant to hire in Canada because of jurisdictional differences. To avoid this problem, you may consider hiring a PEO service in Canada. This professional employer organization can help you craft your onboarding process. And this can also make Canadian payroll for US companies much easier.

By making the above efforts, you can seamlessly onboard your international employees and make them feel like part of the company. As you go through this process, be sure to take note of what is and is not working. Then you can improve the process for future years.

What US Companies Need to Know about Paying Employees in Canada

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Canadian Small Business Trends to Know in 2017

Posted by Shannon Dowdall


Nov 8, 2017 9:00:00 AM

How to Pay Employees Who Work in the United States and Canada--.jpgThe Canadian economy is ever changing, which means that small businesses are evolving as well. This year's small businesses are more tech savvy and independent than ever. From online solutions to outsourced payroll services, the following are some of the top trends that Canada's entrepreneurs are experiencing.

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Remote Employment

With the rise of technology, employees no longer have a reason to be in the office. This opens up hiring options for Canadian firms, including international candidates. While this introduces the need for foreign employment compliance, it also creates a more diverse and well-rounded work force.

Online Customer Service

Tech-driven small businesses are also able to streamline their customer service through online communication. This includes online chat bots and social media customer service techniques. This meets the customers where they are, moving it offline when necessary. While this introduces an extra element to digital training, it also makes the customer service process more user-friendly on both ends.


Some startups are no longer relying on more traditional venture capital solutions. Crowdfunding is becoming more popular for projects as well as entire businesses. This creates a community around a product or service, as well as a level of social responsibility.

Mobile Transactions

While some small businesses are forced to take cash due to infrastructure limitations, artists and other entrepreneurs are able to make transactions via their mobile phones. Companies like Square make this easier since you can place an attachment right on your mobile device for customers to swipe their cards. This simply makes commerce more efficient and doesn't limit potential customers to those who just have cash.


Small business owners are busier than ever, meaning that they need to make certain parts of their jobs easier. This is why many Canadian firms are choosing to use outsourced payroll services. Many of these businesses will find that these services save them time and money during tax season especially. This is particularly true if they are hiring employees internationally.

Small Business Empowerment

Today's small businesses are empowered by a wide variety of resources. Outsourced payroll, mobile transactions, and streamlined customer service all make owning a business so much easier. This allows business owners to focus on their product or service more than the logistics. As Canada becomes a better place for small businesses, these trends will become more intuitive. The future is open for entrepreneurs, especially if they have the tools to empower them.

Canadian Payroll Tax Deduction Calculator

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5 Answers to Questions about Vacation Time Rules in Quebec

Posted by Corinne Camara


Nov 1, 2017 9:00:00 AM

5 Answers to Questions about Vacation Time Rules in Quebec--.jpgCanadian provinces have jurisdiction in a number of areas, including employment. Employment regulations are a shared federal and provincial responsibility. The majority of workers—up to 90 percent of them—are covered by provincial, rather than federal, law. 

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As a result, payroll regulations and employment standards vary as you move across the country. Perhaps the most unique province is Quebec. 

Of course, the gulf between Quebec and the rest of Canada can mean confusion when it comes to payroll. One of the most common subjects is vacation time. Employers and payroll providers alike have plenty of questions on this topic.

1. How Much Vacation Does an Employee Get?

Vacation time rules in Quebec prescribe calculating vacation time by the length of service. Generally speaking, the longer employees work for you, the more vacation time they’re entitled to. 

If employees have worked less than one full year, they’re still entitled to vacation time. They earn one day per month of service. So, if an employee is hired on May 1 and works until September 1, they earn four days of vacation. 

For employees who have worked for you longer than a year, but less than five years, they’re entitled to two weeks of vacation. The employees can also ask for an additional (unpaid) week off. 

If employees have worked more than five years, they are entitled to three weeks of vacation.

2. What If Someone Is Hired Seasonally?

Suppose you hire a student worker for the busy summer months. This employee works for four months, from May 1 to September 1. Next year, you hire them back again. You continue this until they graduate university, for five years total. How much time off have they earned under vacation time rules in Quebec? 

The answer is one day per month of consecutive service. Since this employee’s service isn’t uninterrupted, they wouldn’t be considered as having worked for you for more than a year. Employment must be based on consecutive months of service.

3. How Do You Calculate a Year?

Another complicating factor for vacation rules in Quebec is the reference year. In Quebec, the year begins on May 1 and runs until April 30 the following year. Many businesses follow this fiscal year model anyway, since their taxes to the Canada Revenue Agency are due on April 30 each year.

To calculate a year, you begin from May 1. If you hired an employee on May 1, 2016, they would have accrued one year of service on May 1, 2017. As of April 30, 2017, this employee has still worked less than one year, so the vacation entitlement for 2017 would be one day per month of service.

If this employee is still with you on April 30, 2018, however, they will be entitled to two weeks’ vacation, plus an additional unpaid week of time off. This might seem a bit confusing at first, but it’s relatively simple once you know the reference year.

4. How Much Vacation Pay?

Vacation rules in Quebec are heavily centered on how long the employee has worked for your business. This is true both in how much time employees accrue and how much you’re required to pay them.

For employees with less than five years’ service, you’re required to pay four percent of their annual gross earnings. For those who have been with you for longer than five years, six percent of annual gross is required as vacation pay.

The same rules are used for full-time and part-time employees. You can use a deductions calculator to make the job easy.

5. How Do You Pay?

Vacation time rules in Quebec stipulate you must pay out vacation pay in one lump-sum payment before the employee leaves on vacation.

At first glance, vacation time rules in Quebec seem quite complicated. If you still have questions, talk to a Canadian payroll provider today!

What US Companies Need to Know about Paying Employees in Canada

Topics: human resources

What You Need to Know About Vacation Policies for Canada

Posted by Stacey Duggan


Jul 31, 2017 9:00:00 AM

What You Need to Know About Vacation Policies for Canada--.jpgWhether it’s to another country, into the Canadian wilderness, or just a relaxing staycation at home, Canadians love their vacation time. So much so, that many Canadians take this into account when negotiating their employment contracts.

In fact, Canada was the only country that chose vacation time as their preferred benefits. 20 percent of Canadians said that they would prefer an additional week of vacation time, compared to a $500 salary increase. Clearly Canadians know their priorities!

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With vacation time comes vacation policies for Canada. Companies and employees alike need to be aware of what the rules and regulations surrounding Canadian vacation policies to properly account for accurate payroll processing. There are many myths surrounding vacation policies for Canada and it’s important to know truth from fiction. If you don’t already, here’s four things you’ll need to know about vacation policies for Canada.

They’re Different in Every Province

That’s right, if you conduct business in only one province, you’ll only have to know your province’s vacation policies. However, if you conduct business and hire employees in multiple provinces, you’ll need to be aware of the differences to ensure proper payroll accuracy and ensure compliance.

If you have trouble keeping track of provincial regulations, it may be a smart investment for your company to enlist the support of a back office solutions provider, who can not only keep you informed on provincial differences, but handle all your payroll needs to avoid any mistakes or errors. Don’t leave your payroll to chance, trust the experts.

Vacation Policies for Canada—How it Works

Unlike Canada’s neighbours south of the border, it is mandatory for Canadian employers to offer vacation time to employees after one year of employment. Employees are entitled to two weeks of vacation time, except in Saskatchewan where the minimum is three weeks, and Quebec where the minimum is 12 days (one for every month of the year).

You may have noticed on your paycheque that every payday four percent, or six percent in Saskatchewan, is deducted for vacation pay. What does this mean? While vacation time may seem like free money, it’s actually an accumulation of a percentage of your paycheque. So, each pay period, four or six percent of your pay is withheld from you in order to pay for your time off.

For temporary employees, the accumulation of their vacation pay is given to them once they complete their employment with the individual business.

Can an Employer Reject a Request for Vacation Time?    

When it comes down to it, yes, an employer does have the right to reject requests for vacation time. Vacation policies for Canada are not meant to harm businesses, and if your employer believes that the time you have requested may negatively impact their business, they have the right to reject your request.

While they have the right, most employers do not exercise this. It diminishes employee morale, and ultimately can leave employees feeling very bitter towards their employers. While employers can reject vacation time requests, many do not in order to keep their employees happy and productive.

The Use It or Lose It Rule

Many people have heard of the use it or lose it rule, but what does it mean? The use it or lose it rule only applies to extra vacation time granted to employees by their employers. For the minimum two weeks’ vacation, employers cannot implement a use it or lose it policy.

Employees must take two full weeks off within 10 months of the end of the vacation period. You should never be fearful that you’re going to lose your vacation time unless you receive over two week’s holiday.

12 Things an American Company Looking to Hire a Worker in Canada Needs to Know

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What American Companies Need to Know about Employing a Canadian

Posted by Karen McMullen


Apr 21, 2017 9:00:00 AM

What-American-Companies-Need-to-Know-about-Employing-a-Canadian-1.jpgHiring new employees is an exciting and busy process, butit can get complicated quickly, especially when the new employee lives in a territory outside your own. American companies hiring Canadian employees remotelyneed to be aware of the significant differences that occur when employing non-U.S. residents. 

Employing a Canadian in an American company requires compliance with certain regulations. Here’s what U.S. employers need to know. 

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Labour Legislation Is a Provincial Matter

Unlike the U.S., employment legislation in Canada is largely a provincial matter.The federal government rules on a minority of employment issues, meaning each province has its own regulations to follow.Employing a Canadian in Ontario, for example, will have different labour rulesthana Canadian employee working and living in British Columbia. 

Where said employee works will determine the pay schedule, the applicable minimum wage rate, holiday and vacation pay, acceptable employee contract terms, and more. Provinces individually outline these minor details for legally employing Canadians, so American companies must do their due diligence beforehand to ensure they’re following the correct provincial standards.While the regulations may appear similar across the provinces, many haveminor variances. 

Agencies and tribunals that deal with work issues, whether discriminatory practices, human rights violations or other issues, also vary. Each province has its own administrative tribunal to handle these situations, and while they all do the same job in principle, each tribunal conducts business in its own way. 

Unions,as well,are governed differently in Canada. Unlike the National Labour Board in the U.S., which governs the entire country’s unionized force, Canada’s unions are run by their own trade and vary between provincial and federal positions. 

If Canadians are employed from several provinces, American employers will need to be sure each individual employee’s management is in line with that province’s human resources, employee benefits, and contractual standards.

“At Will” Termination Isn’t an Option

Should you employ a Canadian, it’s crucial to remember they cannot be terminated “at will.” Unlike U.S. employers who have this option, Canadian employers must have a legitimate reason for termination, and as such, employees are entitled to reasonable notice or pay in lieu of it. 

As legal justification is difficult to prove when firing an employee, severance packages are a popular alternative. American companies need to be absolutely aware of this to avoid lawsuits or possible discrimination charges should they need to terminate their Canadian employees. Unless they’re contractually obligated, American employers can terminate without giving sufficient reasoning, notice, or pay.

Canadian courts place a very high onus on the employer to meet human rights standards to prevent wrongful termination. American companies need to fully grasp what side courts will choose when deciding to terminate. If you’re considering hiring a Canadian employee, fully understand how termination and dismissal works.

Calculating Payroll and Taxes

It’s crucial to correctly calculate employee payroll and deduct the right taxes, in order to submit accurate remittance reports later. Canadian tax remittance reports are submitted to the federal agency namedthe Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).The CRA outlines when these reports are due based on timing and type of company, and late submissions cause problems. Canadian employees have three major tax deductions American employers need to account for: the Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance, and income tax. All three are deducted each pay period.

In addition, correct employee classification outlines how said employee is paid, and mistakes here can result in audits, fines, and penalties from the CRA.

American companies should also pay attention to the fluctuating exchange rate to determine the best way to pay their Canadian employees and understand all the financial obligations, including what’s mentioned above, involved when employing a Canadian.

Some U.S. employers find it helpful to outsource these tasks to a Canadian employment of record, to ensure they’re handled correctly.

12 Things an American Company Looking to Hire a Worker in Canada Needs to Know

Topics: human resources

How Do I Terminate an Employee Who Isn’t Working Out?

Posted by Stacey Duggan


Apr 5, 2017 9:00:00 AM

How-Do-I-Terminate-an-Employee-Who-Isnt-Working-Out.jpgIt happens. You hire someone who appears to be the right fit with the right qualifications. Shortly after they start though, it’s a disaster. Incorrectly firing personnel is bad business, so how can you fire staff without getting into legal hot water? You have to cover all your bases to ensure you correctly terminate an employee, and protect your business.


Employers have to be incredibly careful when deciding to terminate an employee. Ideally, the sooner you can terminate an employee, the better. The standard 90-day probation period generally lets employers off the hook for firing, however, confirmwith the correct legislation in case a period of notice, or pay in lieu of,still applies. Firing an employeewithin this period can also leave employers vulnerable to backlash comments that this intervalis a training and skill-testing period, but generally, employees fired at this time have no right to appeal.

Firing a staff member after probation requires a reasonable notice period.Various factors will determine how long reasonable notice is: age, years of service, their character, and availability of similar jobs. Employees are still entitled to receive compensation and benefits for a sustainable period, as if still employed by the employer.

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Comply with the Employment Standards Act

Review all the various laws to ensure you can terminate said employee and have met the provincial legislation standards to avoid possible lawsuits and legal penalties. Each province has its own labour law or employment standards act to follow, which specifies whether the employee has to be paid out or not. They also outline the minimum standards of pay and benefits employees are entitled to receive upon leaving. 

When you terminate an employee, their severance package must meet these minimum requirements. Ensure you’ve followed the provincial legislation, your employer handbook, and the employment contract prior to firing. If necessary, obtain legal advice to confirm you’ve covered your bases.

The Employment Contract and Termination Letter

Complying with the correct terms of the employment contract is key to verifying termination. Employment contracts need to be reviewed to make sure you’re not breaching any terms, and the contract will spell outspecific provisions regarding termination. Examining this document first ensures you have legal grounds to fire this employee.You may also need to confirm the employee was given proper warnings and a chance to improve, and that regular performance reviews were conducted along with meetings and chances to explain, if necessary.

Keep in mind that termination clauses in contracts may vary depending on who drafted it. Courts have the power to set aside documents that don’t meet the provincial requirements, so it’s important your employment contracts meet minimum standards in initial drafts to avoid future legal disputes. Improperly drafted contracts that fail to meet ESA standards can be thrown out.

After reviewing the contract, draft the termination letter. The termination letter must be ready when you call the meeting with the employee, and after you’ve inspected the employment contract. It should specify the end date, and clearly communicate that this is termination, to avoid confusion of it beinga disciplinary or time out period. Details about the amount of notice, payment in absence of, and severance package will be noted here.If your letter offers benefits above the requirements outlined in the ESA, have the employee sign a release in exchange for receiving the statutory amounts. This ensures full coverage and future liability for your business. This option is completely discretionary to employers.

Once you’re legally and ethically clear to fire, deliver a termination notice and hold an exit interview to explain to the outgoing employee the reasons they are being let go. It’s not easy firing staff, but at the end of the day, it’s just business.

7 Signs It's Time to Outsource Payroll

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How to Terminate an Employee: 3 Guidelines to Follow

Posted by Shannon Dowdall


Mar 31, 2017 9:00:00 AM

How-to-Terminate-an-Employee-3-Guidelines-to-Follow.jpgTerminating an employee is often an uncomfortable process, but sometimes it’s necessary and a smart business decision. It’s also not as easy as just calling the employee in and telling them they’ve been fired, you have to ensure the correct procedure is followed. Follow these three guidelines to ensure you are legally and ethically okay to terminate an employee.

1. Check the Employment Contract

The employment contract, along with the provincial requirements, outlines the legal means for an employer to terminate an employee. The contract will contain provisions which indicate at what time an employer can fire, and lay out what the employee is entitled to. They’ll also specify a number of other key clauses the employee is entitled to, including benefits, compensation, and termination, while defining reasonable notice or pay in lieu of it. Verify the contract is in line with the province’s employment standards act. If any of the clauses fall below those standards, the courts won’t enforce them.

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Once you’re legally in the clear, it’s time to draft a termination letter. Consider vetting it by legal counsel to make sure all the necessary standards are met. It should clearly state the purpose(termination), include the end date, outline the reasons for termination, and state any severance benefits. The employee shouldn’t be confused whether the letter means they’ve been fired or it’s a disciplinary time out.

It’s at the employer’s discretion to offer severance above the minimum standards. If an employer chooses this route, ensure the employee signs a release form acknowledging the exchange, and to protect the company from future liability.

2. Keep a Record

All staff should have individual employee files, which hold basic documents like contact information and vacation days, and also record any mishaps or employee errors. Laying this groundwork at the beginning of the employee’s job makes termination easier. The employer can verify it with hard facts, instead of only verbalizing different situations where the employee went wrong. From customer complaints and inappropriate behavior, to consistent failure to meet deadlines, maintain an accurate record to later show the employee. 

Employee expectations should be clear from the beginning. If they’re having problems, the employer should have given them previous chances to improve by holdingregular performance reviews or other meetings. When it’s time to terminate an employee, ideally, the employee should already have an ideaof where they stand in the company. 

The employer should have previously made it clear that there were problems or the staff member wasn’t working well within the team. The employer must be able to give concrete examples of where performance failed, to highlight they weren’t a good fit. At termination, an employer should be able to clearly show the employee that their performance was seriously lacking.

3. Conduct an Exit Interview

The exit interview is crucial for good manners and adequate termination, and is when the employerdirectly communicatestermination to the employee. It’s important that employers are crystal clear about what they say to get this across effectively and accurately to the employee. Having a script prepared ahead of time assures employers what they’ve written is as clear as possible, and overall moves the meeting along.

The exit interview is important for closure of the employee’s time there. It should always be in person, and held in a quiet, neutral part of the office. Be ready to answer the dreaded “Why?” question they may ask. Final documents, such as the termination letter and a release form (if applicable),should already be prepared and ready for signing.

Be honest, brief, and clear. As well as speeding up the process, knowing what to say ahead of time makes it less awkward for everyone involved.

What Are You Leaving to Chance by Handling Payroll on Your Own

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The Differences Between Wrongful Dismissal in Canada and the U.S.

Posted by Ray Gonder


Mar 27, 2017 9:00:00 AM

The-Differences-Between-Wrongful-Dismissal-in-Canada-and-the-U.S..jpgCanada and the U.S. are intertwined in many ways, but that doesn’t mean the legislation governing similar activities is the same. In regards to letting employees go, the guidelines between both countries have significant differences. Understanding these differences are important to ensuring lawful wrongful dismissal. 

Before moving ahead, let’s define this term. Wrongful dismissal is when an employeeis dismissed without notice. An employer (wrongfully) feels there is just cause for termination. The issue at hand is the length of notice, as the employer has failed to provide the employee with it. The employee feels they have been dismissed unfairly, or without just cause.

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Division of Powers

In Canada, the majority of power regarding employment standards is controlled by the provinces, with slight variations in each one. Hours and overtime pay are set by the provincial legislation,and employees in different provinces are subject to different rates. For example, if an employer has staff in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick,the company will have separate employment agreements that meetthe standards of the applicable provincial legislation. 

Defining workplace dismissal can have slightly differing details. For example, both Ontario and British Columbia employees look to an act with the same name (the Employment Standards Act), but the wording in each act will vary. While similar agencies exist in the provinces, the agencies will handle the same issues differently. Ontario workers consult the Workplace Health and Safety Board,but a similar disputein Nova Scotia would be handled by the Workers’ Compensation Board. The tribunal idea is the same, but as it’s in a different province, the procedure won’t be identical. 

Unlike the U.S., where many of the key regulations are federally governed, the provinces handle the majority of the employment regulations, with the federal government having a limited number of responsibilities.

“At Will” Employment

Canada has no “at will” employment. While U.S. employers can terminate “at will”, Canadian employers need legal justification or a written agreement to do so. If an employee feels they were fired without cause, the onus is on the employer to prove they did not act in that manner. The threshold is incredibly high in Canadian courts for just cause. As it’s much harder to prove, it commonly results in the Canadian employer providing the employee a severance package. 

The employer is obligated to provide reasonable notice or pay in lieu of it, upon termination. Even if an employee agrees to “at will” termination, employment standards in the various provinces can void this if dismissal doesn’t include all of the minimum rights. It’s absolutely required in Canada and is accompanied with other written variations. Employers are mandated by provincial legislation outlining proper termination of employees, reasonable notice periods, minimum entitlements, and more. 

Understanding the provincial legislation is key to ensuring business owners have correctly dismissed an employee.

Employees with Disabilities

Canada’s human rights legislation leaves an incredibly large duty to employers to accommodate employees with disabilities.While the U.S. also defines disabilities asphysical and mental, Canada alone labels drug and alcohol dependency a disability.

If job short-comings are found through disability, the employer has committed unlawful dismissal unless they can show the business suffered undue hardship by keeping the employee. “Undue hardship” of course varies on context–the workplace and disability of the employee.

Human rights legislation will look to health and safety, financial costs, and a genuine attempt to accommodate said worker. If the attempts were futile or workplace tasks were not reorganized, courts may consider it grounds for wrongful dismissal. But the employee has to do their part as well. Unless it’s a hazard to their safety, they can’t declineto deal with the reset accommodations, or refuse to participate in the revised efforts.

In contract to U.S.-based businesses, Canadian companieshave a bigger responsibility to accommodate workers, regardless oftheir situation.

12 Things an American Company Looking to Hire a Worker in Canada Needs to Know

Topics: human resources

What Is the Correct Way to Terminate an Employee?

Posted by Corinne Camara


Mar 22, 2017 9:00:00 AM

What-Is-the-Correct-Way-to-Terminate-an-Employee.jpgFiring an employee is one of the most unpleasant aspects of a job. There’s no easy way to tell an employee they’re being let go, but there are ways to make it a little less uncomfortable

Even when just cause exists to let an employee go, employers still have to follow proper firing etiquette. Here’show to correctly terminate an employee, and protect your company.

Do it Before Friday!

Let your employee go as early in the week as possible. If you terminate an employee on a Friday, it gives them the weekend to stew about it, and they may return Monday morning with a bad attitude.Avoid waiting until week end, and definitely don’t wait until the end of the day. 

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Earlier in the day is better because it shows good sportsmanship. It’s bad manners to letthat employee work all day, only to find out they’ve been fired by day-end. Get it done early for your sake and the employee’s. 

Consistent advice recommends firing the employee as early in the week as possibly to avoid mulling things over on the weekend. It allows the person to quickly transition in to the process of finding a new job, which is easier to manage at the beginning of the week.

Bring a Witness

Don’t terminate an employee on your own.This leaves employers vulnerableto a “he said/she said” conversation if the employee chooses to retaliate. Ifthe employee decides to bring an action against you, you have no witness to call who can verify the conversation. 

It’s good for an employer’s own protectionas well, in case the person has a nuclear reaction and the situation takes a turn for the worst. A witness can be present for safety, and account for your actions in case of an argument or if you’re later accused of wrongful behavior.

Be Prepared

Know what you’re going to say ahead of time. It will minimize the awkwardness and speed up the process. Keep it simple. Firing is already uncomfortable, so there’s no need to complicate it even more.

Stick to the point and don’t mince words. At this point, the employee is aware they’re being terminated, so saying less helps keep some dignity.It’ll also keep the conversation short and won’t allow time for the employee to retaliate.Explain clearly and briefly why they’re being let go. Be sure to explain severance and benefits if they’re entitled to anything at the time.

Bring A Record

If your employee had to meet specific goals, maintain a written record that you can presentat the meeting,highlighting where they failed to complete them. For example, maybe they had a sales target to meet but continually missed the mark.

Give the employee a list of specific behavior issues that were not improved and continued to be problematic. If the employee had opportunity to improve, provide that record as well to show there was no follow up. Identifying subpar performance and where they didn’t succeed justifies your reason for termination. It will also help avoid you from being dragged in to anything later.

Have an Exit Strategy

Don’t put your employee through a walk of shame after the termination. Choose a location and time with the lowest amount of people around. Pick a neutral part of the office instead of your own, in case they have an emotional reaction and need time to recover or gather themselves.

Conference rooms, neutral offices–a room with a closed door is necessary when you conduct this private meeting. If possible, pick a room close to an exit, so the employeeonly has a short walk after.This draws less attention and makes it easier on the employee when they have to leave.

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Topics: human resources

Why Employment Agreements Are Important in Canada

Posted by Anna Mastrandrea


Mar 20, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Why-Employment-Agreements-Are-Important-in-Canada.jpgBoth employers and employees need to protect themselves, and an employment agreement is one of the most effective ways companies do this. The agreement provides workers and employers with a document clearly outlining the specific obligations of each party, making their individual duties evident and understandable. In Canada, employment agreements are incredibly important.

What Are They?

An employment agreement, sometimes referred to as an employee contract, is a contractual obligation between an employer and employee, covering a variety of work-related clauses. It identifies the duties and responsibilities of the worker, while protecting the employer from certain liabilities. 

To hold up in court, this agreement should be well-drafted and vetted by a legal team.Both parties can negotiate terms prior to signing, so both are equally happy and able to work with the agreed-upon terms. Each clause in the contract must comply with the province’s applicable employment standards act. The courts will void any clauses which fall below it. 

Signed by both the employer and employee, this binding contract allows for a high level of specificity, and provides stability and security for both parties involved. These agreements form the beginning of the employer-employee relationship while highlighting the degree of organization and structure within the company.

Clarify Termination

Canadian business owners don’t have the option to terminate employees “at will”. Inclusion of this clause in the agreement is vital for employers’ protection, should they find this option necessary.The termination clause is one of the biggest provisions to correctly draft because it protects the employer from potential cases of wrongful dismissal or termination. As well as letting the employer know when it’s acceptable to fire the employee, the employee can refer to it should they wish to leave the company. 

Related termination provisions within employment agreements include: a lay-off clause (outlining when it’s acceptable for the employer to do so); how much notice to give the employee prior to terminating, or the pay in lieu of; and specify what the employee is entitled to regarding any severance pay. Also related in this section of the contract are non-compete and non-solicitclauses, safeguarding the employer from losing important company information should the employee consider working with a competitor. 

Again, check the provincial employment standards act to ensure this clause is in line with the minimum standards.

Spell Out Terms

Employment agreements cover several big sections with detailed subsections.

The agreement outlines pay:calculating wages, vacation, statutory holiday, and overtime. There’s the previously mentioned termination clause, as well as a disciplinary provision. This clarifies that the employer conducted regular performance reviews, gave adequate warnings, and properly dealt with inappropriate behavior,prior to deciding termination. The health and safety clause is vital to ensuring both parties are responsible for a hazard-free work environment. It ensures the employer provides and maintains a safe working area that meets all the minimum health requirements, and that the employee is committed to following these rules to keep the area safe. Another important clause is the workplace violence and harassment policy, for employee protection and to ensure people’s rights aren’t violated.

Spelling out the details of each clause secures the rights of both employers and employees. As well as liability protection, a properly drafted agreement will include provisions that preserve both parties’ personal and intellectual property. This keeps the employer’s rights in check, ensuring there’s no abuse of power.

Detailed terms act as an easy reference point if either party is unsure about their responsibility, or feels they’re being cheated. If there’s an issue at work, the contract is there for easy reference andclarification of who’s in the wrong and how the issue can be fixed. The provisions’specific wording will outline the job performance requirements, so both the employer and employee know and understand what’s expected of them.

What US Companies Need to Know about Paying Employees in Canada

Topics: human resources

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