Tag archives: health and safety

Conducting Workplace Investigations… in a Pandemic

This year has created innumerable challenges for employers— including the challenge of how to effectively conduct a workplace investigation when health and safety protocols demand a certain degree of separation. Fortunately, the same Do’s and Don’ts still apply to employers, whether they are conducting an investigation two meters apart or virtually through Zoom.

  • Don’t (inexcusably) delay: Memories fade over time and adjudicators may interpret delay as a sign that the conduct is insignificant or that the conduct is condoned. This does not mean that investigations need to be rushed, however— on the contrary, hasty investigations can be equally fatal.  Best
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Entre l’obligation d’accommodement et milieu de travail sécuritaire : un équilibre difficile à atteindre pour les employeurs à l’ère du cannabis médical

Le 17 octobre prochain marquera le deuxième anniversaire de la légalisation du cannabis récréatif au Canada. Bien que cette réalité fasse maintenant partie de notre quotidien, différentes questions liées à la consommation de cette substance demeurent, notamment en matière d’emploi.

L’une d’entre elles a récemment été abordée par la Cour d’appel de Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador[1] et peut se résumer ainsi : que doit faire un employeur lorsqu’un salarié désirant occuper un poste pouvant mettre en jeu sa sécurité et celle de ses collègues consomme du cannabis à des fins médicales sur une base quotidienne?

La décision

Dans cette affaire où le … Continue Reading

Ontario employers, cover up! Mandatory face-covering orders now in effect in Toronto, Ottawa, and beyond

While Stage 3 allows many businesses in Ontario to reopen and to welcome returning employees back to the physical workplace, employers and service providers—as operators of enclosed public spaces and establishments—must meet certain recently announced conditions. As of July 7, 2020, at 12:01 a.m., these conditions now include the mandatory covering of the mouth, nose and chin for members of the public and employees in indoor public spaces in Ontario’s two largest municipalities, Toronto and Ottawa. On July 30, 2020, the Province of Ontario unveiled its plan for reopening schools in the 2020-2021 school year, which will require students … Continue Reading

Pandemic check: face covering requirements for federally regulated employers in Canada

In certain provinces, masks and face coverings have now or will soon become mandatory in certain indoor establishments accessible to the public, including in, or in parts of, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia. Recently, in Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia also announced that masks will be required as of July 31 in enclosed public places.

In the federal sphere, the Labour Program has not imposed mandatory face covering requirements in establishments operated by federally regulated employers and service providers. However, current public health guidance informs that face coverings can be an effective form of protection from the … Continue Reading

À savoir sur la pandémie : exigences en matière de couvre-visage pour les employeurs sous réglementation fédérale au Canada

Dans certaines provinces, le port d’un masque et d’un couvre-visage est maintenant, ou sera bientôt, obligatoires dans certains établissements intérieurs accessibles au public, notamment en Ontario (en anglais seulement), au Québec, en Alberta et en Colombie-Britannique (en anglais seulement), ou dans certaines parties de ces provinces. Récemment, au Canada atlantique, la Nouvelle-Écosse a également annoncé que le port du masque sera exigé à partir du 31 juillet dans les lieux publics fermés.

Du côté du gouvernement fédéral, le Programme du travail n’a pas imposé de mesures obligatoires en matière de couvre-visage dans les établissements exploités par des employeurs et … Continue Reading

Employeurs de l’Ontario : des décrets sur les masques obligatoires sont désormais en vigueur à Toronto et à Ottawa

*La version actualisée du présent billet de blogue peut être consultée, en anglais, en cliquant ici.*

Alors que l’étape 2 permet aux entreprises de l’Ontario de rouvrir et d’accueillir les employés sur le lieu de travail physique, les employeurs et les fournisseurs de services doivent remplir certaines conditions qui ont été récemment annoncées. Depuis le 7 juillet 2020 à 0 h 1, cela inclut le port obligatoire d’un masque couvrant la bouche et le nez pour les membres du public et les employés dans les espaces publics intérieurs des deux plus grandes municipalités de l’Ontario, Toronto (en anglais … Continue Reading

Say It Ain’t So, I Will Not Go: Responding to Employee Requests to Not Return to the Workplace in British Columbia

Following the unveiling of BC’s Restart Plan, and as part of the province’s transition to the “new normal”, many British Columbian employers are welcoming their employees back to the traditional pre-pandemic workplace.  However, given the current climate of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers will inevitably be met with requests from employees wishing to not return to the physical workplace for fear of contracting COVID-19.  Some of these requests will be justified or reasonable but others will not, and this legitimacy will not always be immediately clear for the responding employer.

In order to determine whether a request not to report … Continue Reading

Nouveauté pour les employeurs québécois : Publication de la Charte d’engagement à combattre le coronavirus en milieu de travail

La Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) a récemment publié en ligne la Charte d’engagement à combattre le coronavirus en milieu de travail (Charte). Celle-ci vise essentiellement à ce que les employeurs et les travailleurs coopèrent en matière de prévention pour diminuer les risques que pose la COVID-19 sur la santé et la sécurité en milieu de travail. Elle reconnaît l’importance de chaque acteur dans cet effort de prévention et souligne la nécessité de mettre en place des mesures concertées, fondées sur la protection des travailleurs.

À … Continue Reading

Health and safety tips for Ontario’s construction job sites: masks, social distancing, and more

Ontario’s Premier announced on May 14, 2020 that select workplaces could start reopening as stage 1 of the Framework for Reopening the Province was given the green light. As part of the first stage, the previous restrictions on certain construction projects and activities were lifted.

On Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 am, the list of essential workplaces was amended to permit all construction activities, projects and related services that support construction projects to reopen and all of  the industry has effectively been back online since then. Although some restrictions have lifted, it is certainly not business as usual and … Continue Reading

Health and Safety ranks high on the DMR’s priorities for 2016

This article was written by Tladi Marumo , an Associate at Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa

The new Minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Zwane, in his official opening address at the Annual Investing in African Mining Indaba, on 8 February 2016, ranked health and safety as one of the paramount industry priorities of 2016. This statement follows on the earlier emphasis placed on enhancing health and safety practices in the mining industry by his predecessor, Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi. Shortly before the Mining Indaba, Minister Zwane published the annual mining health and safety statistics for 2015. He highlighted 2015 as the … Continue Reading

Duty of care: an employee’s misconduct may be excused under some circumstances

The legal context

Under French employment law, both employers and employees are under a duty of care which requires them to take health and safety considerations into account throughout the employment relationship. Although the employer’s duty of care is interpreted very extensively by case law, which does not entitle the employer to escape liability except in very limited circumstances, the duty of care imposed on employees is less stringent and only requires them to take care, within their capabilities, of their health and safety as well as these of other persons concerned by their acts and omissions at work. In … Continue Reading

Moral harassment: an employee victim of harassment can be compensated twice

Legal context

French employment law strictly prohibits acts of moral harassment within a company, employers being required to take all measures necessary to prevent such situations from occurring in the first place. Applicable sanctions in the event of breach of such prohibition can be particularly severe since the employer can face penal sanctions as well as having any act taken in violation of such prohibition being declared null and void. The victim of such acts can also seek the civil liability of the employer and obtain the payment of damages for any loss suffered as a result of the harassment. … Continue Reading

Termination Upheld for Workplace Violence Threats

In the recent decision UFCW, Local 1400 v Prairie Pride Natural Foods Ltd, 2013 CanLII 82240 (SK LA), a Saskatchewan arbitration board upheld the dismissal of a long-term employee for workplace violence and harassment threats.

The grievor worked as a Hanger in the employer’s poultry processing plant. He had been employed for five years, which was a lengthy period of employment for the workplace which had high turnover. In September 2011 the grievor was suspended 3 days for elbowing another employee in the chest and yelling and swearing at him. In May 2012 the grievor threatened to come … Continue Reading

The use of “forfait jours” under the Syntec sector is now secured

As previously commented in one of our articles, French case law has subjected to increasingly strict scrutiny employers using “forfait jours”, i.e. a specific method of working time for autonomous executives (whose working time is calculated as a number of days worked over the year rather than a number of hours per week).

In 2011, the French Supreme Court held that such method could only be used if the relevant collective bargaining agreement (CBA) allowing for the implementation of such working time organisation included provisions protecting employees’ health and safety and their right to rest periods.

The Supreme … Continue Reading

South Africa – Child care obligations. What are an employer’s obligations?

Currently, none of the major pieces of employment and labour legislation in South Africa specifically deal with an employer’s obligations when it offers childcare facilities to its employees’ children.

Our legislation does however contain regulations providing pregnant employees with minimum childbirth rights and also seek to protect them after the birth of a child and whilst breastfeeding.  A code of good practice on the protection of employees during pregnancy and after the birth of a child was enacted to provide guidelines for employers and employees concerning the protection of the health of women against potential hazards in their work environment.  … Continue Reading

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