Tag archives: health and safety

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