Lifecycle of an Employment Relationship: Part One - Creating the Employment Relationship
For audio, it is recommended you dial in A copy of the slides + recording will be available post webinar AUDIO: 1-877-668-4493 Access Code: 664 511 217 Event Password: 1234 WebEx Support: 1-866-863-3910Lifecycle of an Employment Relationship: Part One – Creating The Relationship January 24, 2013 Presented by: Matthew Vella, Vella Labour Law
Interviews• All companies have their own methods of handling interviews. Some ask a series of pre-determined questions and others prefer to let conversation flow naturally.• In either case, the interviewer must be cognisant of two pitfalls to avoid The Human Rights Complaint The Over Sell
Human Rights Complaints• It is a violation of the code to discriminate against an employee or potential employee based on a code prohibited ground (race, ancestry, disability, age, family status, sex et cetera).• Questions regarding these matters are clearly off limits.• An employer was recently found to have discriminated against a candidate when it told he she had a second interview and then cancelled that interview. The complainant alleged that the employee cancelled the next engagement after learning her age.
Human Rights• Avoid casual conversation that is going to lead to the discovery of information relating to human rights protected grounds.• Interviewer: sorry I was running ten minutes behind, I had to drop my son off at school this morning.• Interviewee: no problem at all, I’m a single mother of 4 young children, I know how it is.
The Over Sell• You operate a great organisation and want to sell that organisation to your potential candidates.• BEWARE, you are creating a relationship.• Promises of quick advancement or over-selling the position may lead to disgruntled employees and have been the focus of lawsuits for intentionally misleading the employee
Contracts• The single most important document in an employment relationship• The opportunity to define everything from the start to finish of the relationship, including the pre-nup
Contracts• Proper Language in an employment contract can: Reduce or limit the chance of constructive dismissal lawsuits Properly define employee’s roles Set out important corporate policies and initiatives Define the amount owing on termination and therefore avid the cost of legal battles over common law notice period
Contracts• The trick is to be comprehensive without being exhaustive.• If you are handing out 47-page contracts with strict provisions and pages of restrictive covenants you will scare away good talent. Balance is key
Contracts• The trick is to find what is important to your organisation and include that in the contract• Avoid lawyer language where possible. Contracts that an employee can read are much more effective
Contracts• Some possible contract provisions: Job description (brief) and language indicating that a change in that job description is not a constructive dismissal Remuneration and Benefits Use of and adherence to corporate policies Termination provisions (ESA Minimums or Otherwise) Restrictive covenants (non-solicit, confidentiality—non- competition is not recommended) Provisions should allow for flexibility in the employment relationship. Courts are apt to hold the employer to the strict letter of the bargain, unless the bargain says that it is flexible.
Contracts• Common issues that can be avoided by having proper contracts in place: “I was just asked to set up a computer. That’s not in my job description. I am refusing” “They just hired a new EVP. I used to report to the president now I report to him. I’m suing for constructive dismissal” “I was terminated and they offered me 8 months termination pay. I saw a lawyer who is taking my case for free on a 30% contingency and he says I’m entitled to 30 months pay so I’m suing”
Contracts• Each of the above scenarios (which I have seen numerous times) could have been easily avoided with a clearly worded contract that defined the relationship while allowing the employer flexibility.
Job Descriptions• Positive attitude is key• Do not set out a 5 page list of tasks, make it higher level. If you clutter it the employee will realise that it is meaningless.• Ensure that there is flexibility and room for the candidate/employee to grow the position if possible• Avoid rigid sets of reporting structures. Times change
QuestionsCreating the Q&AEmployment with Matthew Vella,Relationship Vella Labour Law 15
Free Offer• We’re offering a free 30-minute consultation that can include: Employment contract reviews Best practices for avoiding interview pitfalls Creating effective job descriptionsContact Maysa to take advantage of this exclusive email@example.com 16
Upcoming WebinarRegister at http://drake-webinars.comWednesday, March 13th, 12pm EST10 Essentials to Managing the Employment RelationshipWednesday, April 10th, 12pm ESTDeath of an Employment Relationship 17