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Key Takeaways from the 2021 Labour and Employment Conference: Ontario and Alberta

On October 29, 2021, McCarthy Tétrault’s Labour and Employment offices in Toronto and Calgary hosted their annual Labour and Employment Conference. The following are some key takeaways from the client conference:

COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Policies – Lessons Learned From Implementation

  • In assessing whether a vaccination policy is right for their organization, employers need to take into account a variety of factors, including their operational needs, workplace culture, legal compliance obligations, and risk tolerance. The approach to a vaccination policy, including requirements, timelines, opportunities for accommodation and consequences of non-compliance, as well as the processes that will give life to such policy, should be well thought out from the start.
  • Once the decision has been made to implement a vaccination policy, focus and attention should be given not only to the drafting of the policy itself but also to communications with employees, as a clear, transparent, thoughtful communications strategy will go a long way to building support and achieving a high rate of compliance.

Limiting Bonus and Other Incentive Entitlements on Termination: Recent Case Law and How to Do It Right

  • Employers who wish to limit and/or exclude an employee’s bonus entitlements upon termination must take special care when drafting employment agreements and/or bonus and incentive plan documents. Specifically, employers must ensure that their employment agreements and/or bonus and incentive plan documents comply with employment standards laws and contain clear and unambiguous language ousting the employee’s entitlements during the common law notice period.

Investigations and Risk Mitigation in a Remote World

  • There has been a notable rise in employee complaints and a corresponding increased need for our clients to conduct internal investigations into employee complaints during the pandemic. There are specific considerations for conducting investigations in a remote work environment that employers should be prepared to address, including challenges regarding data collection and the need to implement elevated privacy measures to assist with ensuring privilege and confidentiality.

Family Status and Mental Health Accommodations: Updates and Best Practices

  • Under the applicable human rights legislation, employers have a duty to accommodate employees with disabilities and/or family status related claims up to the point of undue hardship. This session focused on an employer’s duty to accommodate and highlighted recent clarifications on the appropriate test to determine whether an individual is permitted to receive accommodation on the basis of family status.

We’re here to help.

If you have any questions about these topics, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Labour & Employment Group at McCarthy Tétrault.



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