New Year, New Rules for Employers

New Year, New Rules for Employers

Angela Splinter, CEO

A new year means new rules for employers in trucking and logistics. Trucking HR Canada has compiled a list of regulatory and policy changes that may affect your workplace in 2023, with links to various resources and tools to help. Here’s what you should know.

Bill C-3: Paid Medical Leave

Under Bill C-3, employees can now receive up to 10 days of paid medical leave per calendar year and a leave of absence of up to eight weeks in the event of the death of a child or the loss of an unborn child.

The number of days of paid leave depends on the length of employment. Employees are entitled to three days after 30 days of continuous employment and one additional day of paid leave per month to a maximum of 10 days per year. Unused days can carry over to the next calendar year, but the maximum of 10 days of paid medical leave still applies.

There are numerous requirements for employers to know and follow, including establishing a system for tracking medical leaves. Not sure where to start? Click here to connect to a range of THRC resources, including policy templates, best practices, and more.

EI Sickness Benefits Extended

The length of EI sickness benefits has been extended from 15 to 26 weeks under the Canada Labour Code, and the maximum length of unpaid medical leave has been increased from 17 to 27 weeks.

Minimum Wage Increases

Several provinces will increase their minimum hourly wage in 2023:

  • Nova Scotia will raise the minimum wage by 70 cents to $14.30 on April 1 and another 35 cents to $14.65 on Oct. 1.
  • Manitoba will raise the minimum wage by 65 cents to $14.15 on Apr. 1. The province said it would raise it again to $15 on Oct. 1.
  • Saskatchewan will raise the minimum wage to $14 from $13 effective Oct. 1.
  • Prince Edward Island raised its minimum wage by 80 cents to $14.50 on Jan. 1. It will increase another 50 cents to $15 on Oct. 1.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador will increase the minimum wage by 80 cents to $14.50 on April 1. It will increase another 50 cents to $15 on Oct. 1.

Other Recent Changes

Workplace Harassment and Violence

Bill C-65 came into force on Jan. 1, 2021, compelling federally regulated employers to follow specific procedures for investigating, recording, reporting, and preventing workplace harassment and violence (WPHV). Here’s a quick refresher:

  • All new hires must take WPHV training within three months of their start date.
  • Employers must conduct a workplace assessment to identify risks of harassment and violence, then implement a plan to mitigate these risks.
  • Employers must create a workplace harassment and violence policy to be reviewed and updated every three years and renew all training every three years.
  • Employers must appoint and train a “designated recipient” of all complaints related to workplace harassment and violence. This person should not be a supervisor or a manager. Complaints should be resolved within one year of the date on which the designated recipient receives notice of the incident.
  • Employers must also provide a report to the Minister by March 1st detailing the occurrences of workplace harassment and violence from the previous calendar year.
  • See our detailed guide to the WPHV regulations here.

Pay Equity Act

The Pay Equity Act came into force on Aug. 31, 2021, and requires federally regulated workplaces with 10 or more employees to provide equal pay for work of equal value.

Points to note:

  • Compensation packages must be equitable and in compliance with the Act. Depending on the employer’s size, this may involve establishing a pay equity committee.
  • Employers with 10 or more employees in the year before the Act came into force must develop a pay equity plan by Aug. 31, 2024. Employers that came to employ 10 or more employees at any point after the Act came into force will be subject to the Act on Jan. 1 of the following year and will have three years to implement their pay equity plan.
  • Once a pay equity plan is established, employers must increase compensation for predominantly female job classes where the pay is less than their male counterparts.

Need help? THRC is hosting a webinar series starting Jan. 12, 2023, at Noon EST. Register now.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Bill C-5 came into force on Aug. 3, 2021, and provides for the annual observance by the federal government and federally regulated employers of a new statutory holiday on Sept. 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Source Deductions for 2023

Canadians can expect higher Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance deductions this year. The CPP contribution rate is 5.95% (11.9% for self-employed Canadians), with an estimated maximum contribution of $3,701. In Quebec, the QPP contribution rate is 6.4%, with a maximum of $4,038.

EI premiums are rising, too, with a federal contribution rate for employees of 1.63% to a maximum of $1,002.45. In Quebec, the 2023 contribution rate is 1.27% up to $781.

For trucking and logistics firms, the start of 2023 brings new challenges that require smart, dedicated, trained, and equipped people at every level of the organization. Reach out to [email protected] today to learn more about how we can help make sure you’re meeting your obligations as employers during the year ahead.

Trucking HR Canada’s subsidies help Border City Concrete

Border City Concrete gets new Class 1 drivers and a mechanic with support of Trucking HR Canada’s subsidies

Lloydminster has the particularity of straddling between Alberta and Saskatchewan. You literally can change provinces by crossing a street.

Ron Kelly, Border City Concrete

So it’s no surprise that Ron Kelly has been looking at both provinces’ programs to find subsidies to train two existing employees so they could get their Class 1 licence and perform broader functions at Border City Concrete (BCC), the excavation, aggregate and concrete delivery company he manages there.

In the end, he found the solution through Trucking HR Canada’s Career ExpressWay program, which offers up to $10,000 per person to get their Class 1 licence training.

“With the federal program, it was only one party, and I could do multiple things with it,” Kelly says.

The first employee who obtained the professional driver training was an equipment operator. Now that he has his Class 1, he doesn’t need a colleague to move his equipment around anymore and he can also haul gravel. “It opened up a lot of opportunities for him,” Kelly says.

The other had a Class 3 licence before the Career ExpressWay experience, which allowed him to do some trucking jobs. “But he was missing out on a lot of the long hauls and the bigger jobs because he didn’t have his Class 1,” Kelly notes.

These are individuals who couldn’t afford it on their own. Having the subsidy really helped have these two individuals more engaged within the company and for the company to be more successful, for sure.

Ron Kelly

“These are individuals who couldn’t afford it on their own. Having the subsidy really helped have these two individuals more engaged within the company and for the company to be more successful, for sure,” he says, underlining that Trucking HR Canada’s subsidies covered 100% of the training fees.

Kelly mentioned that Career ExpressWay has allowed him to do “multiple things”, referring to the fact that, in addition to the two drivers’ training, he hired an apprentice mechanic by using the Employer Wage Support for Youth program, which paid the first $10,000 of the young man’s wages.

“Times are a little different right now than they were maybe five or six years ago. Everyone’s watching their pennies and their cents. So hire a new guy and train him for a brand new role and get some help right off the bat to get him going until they can do more work on their own is really nice,” Kelly says about Trucking HR Canada’s financial support.

And managing the program was pretty simple for BCC. “Dealing with Trucking HR Canada I found was very easy; they responded quickly and they are courteous. They helped me through things when I had questions and we got things done pretty quick,” Kelly says.

Young and willing to work

20 year-old Nicholas Wenger is the apprentice mechanic BCC hired for its Paradise Hill (SK) Hardy Services division. Nicholas’ dad, Leon, has been a truck driver for as long as he can remember, so he was exposed to trucking at an early age.

Yet, his real passion is mechanics and there’s plenty for him to do at BCC since construction applications can be hard on trucks and heavy machinery. He enjoys the variety of tasks he’s performing. “They’re really good in getting me to all sorts of jobs and getting me familiar with as many things as possible,” Wenger says about his employer.

I’m really enjoying it so far. I can see myself going along this route for years to come, for sure.

Nicholas Wenger

Wenger is eager to make a career in the trucking and logistics sector. “I’m really enjoying it so far. I can see myself going along this route for years to come, for sure,” he says.

That’s certainly music to Kelly’s ears. “Getting the additional new hire wage support subsidy helps to offset some of the training costs. It gives us the opportunity to hire local, to hire someone who’s young, keen, willing to work, willing to learn and to grow within our company,” he says.

Kelly adds that he’s pleased by young workers on different aspects, including their ease with technology. “Things are getting to be more digital and that helps out through the company when you start to use more application programs for safety, pre-trips or time sheets. It’s nice to have that younger workforce to guide some of the more senior guys,” he says, insisting on the importance of building partnerships with young workers.

Not only would Kelly repeat the Career ExpressWay experience, he’s spreading the word about it to other companies. “I’ve recommended it because I thought it was a good way to get younger involvement and to help companies with some of their staffing shortages. It’s a great program,” he concludes.

To learn more about the wage subsidy and subsidized driver training programs, and how you too can benefit from this opportunity, please visit THRC Career Expressway or e-mail [email protected].

Labour shortage solutions

Labour shortage solutions

Cecilia Reaburn

Trucking HR Canada’s latest LMI data shows, yet again, record high Truck Driver vacancies across the country with 25,560 vacant truck driver positions recorded from Jan-March 2022.

This represents the industry’s highest number of vacancies ever recorded since Statistics Canada started tracking vacancies in 2015. Even more concerning is that 49% of these openings remain unfilled for 90+ days.

Driving roles are not the only roles going unfilled. The Canadian Truck Transportation industry has been seeing a steady increase in vacancy rates across the sector since the first quarter of 2021. The sector is currently recording the second highest vacancy rate in Canada at 8.7%. These job vacancy rates describe the industry’s proportion of all vacant jobs. This specific piece of labour market data gives us a glimpse of the challenges faced by our employers in securing the workers needed.

But it’s not all doom and gloom.  THRC has leveraged our labour market information to develop innovative solutions addressing the current challenges and supporting our employers.  Let’s take a look:

Career ExpressWay

Over the past two years, THRC has helped 100+ employers access wage and training subsidies through our Career ExpressWay program. The program offers support for employers who are actively recruiting students, young people, persons with disabilities, new drivers and more.

The program offers a range of subsidies for employers. Since July 2020, we have helped employers onboard over 500 youth and students in driving and non-driving roles.

Our progress?  To date, 95% are still employed and 25% are women, which is higher than the industry average of 15%.

The Student Work Placement Program initiative connects employers with the next generation of our non-driving workforce while supporting their wages. We are increasing the job readiness of students and graduates while helping employers grow their talent pipeline directly from the post-secondary candidate pools. Employers can access a maximum of 50%, up to $5,000 for new students hired.

The program also offers a job board, “Job Connect”.  We collect student job opportunities from participating employers and distribute/promote them directly to our post-secondary partners who are working directly with students eager to join our industry.

For more information on how to take advantage of the Career ExpressWay, reach out to [email protected]

Women with Drive Hits the Road

Our employers are also working hard to find new and creative ways to build and support an increasingly diverse and inclusive workforce. We saw record attendance at our Women with Drive Leadership Summit on June 2, 2022, in Toronto, and now with the support of Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE) we are re-launching our Women with Drive Hits the Road events. We will be hosting Women with Drive events across the country, highlighting solutions, supports and strategies to increase women’s participation as well as their opportunity for internal advancements within our sector. Delivered in partnership with various regional and provincial partners, these events will focus on the intersectionality of experiences of women and other equity deserving groups. You will have to keep an eye on the THRC Event page and our social feed when we will be in your area next for a WWD event.

Ukraine Response

With the ongoing war in Ukraine, Canada has become a safe haven for many families fleeing the violence. Our sector is well positioned to offer support and opportunity to these newcomers. Craig Faucette, Chief Program Officer of THRC has recently authored a blog with resources and opportunities for our sector to provide support and opportunity while also addressing some of our recruitment challenges. You can read the full blog on the THRC Website.

NEW HR Resources

This fall 2022, THRC will be adding to its suite of resources, releasing five guides that offer a deep dive into HR management areas relevant to our industry employers. The guides will cover topics in the following areas:

  • Compensation
  • Flexible workplace practices
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Workplace wellness
  • Leadership best practices

The Guides are supported by a new suite of practical tools: templates, samples, assessments and more. These 2-to-5-page downloadable documents help employers’ action recommendations found in the Guides. If you need some tips for creating a total rewards statement, compensation philosophy and/or need an example of a flexible workplace policy, these guides can help get you started

Our industry leaders are always looking for the next opportunity to support their employees through strong HR policies put into practice. That’s why THRC is honoured to host our annual Top Fleet Employers at the annual Awards Gala every year. This year’s gala will be held on October 13, 2022, in Toronto, at the Palais Royale. A total of 81 Fleets will be recognized for their outstanding efforts to continually raise the bar of HR excellence within the trucking and logistics sector. These fleets are also anxiously awaiting to find out who will be named HR Leader of the Year. An industry honour that showcases an individual’s contribution to our sector. Tickets for the Gala are selling fast. Be sure to buy your tickets soon to save your seat. We can’t wait to see you there!

The team at THRC is here to help.  For information on any of our initiatives – feel free to reach out to [email protected] and stay in touch by subscribing to our newsletter.

Driver language diversity – building a successful team

Driver language diversity – building a successful team

Craig Faucette

A mix of languages are being used by trucking and logistics employees in the workplace and based on what we heard from industry employers - this mix will continue to diversify.

Trucking HR Canada (THRC) consulted the most recent Census data to determine what languages are being used in the industry and through employer surveys and interviews we further explored if this mix of languages is being considered by companies as they work to foster effective communication in their workplace.

The following is what we found.

Languages Used

According to a custom cross tabulation of labour force data from the Census, in almost all trucking and logistics workplaces you will hear one of Canada’s official languages, as over 98% of truck drivers and fleet managers say that they use either English or French at work. This isn’t the whole story though.

Roughly one quarter of Canadian truck drivers and fleet managers have a non-official language as their mother tongue, as defined by Statistics Canada. Of these most (78% truck drivers and 74% fleet managers) report using a non-official language regularly at work, as defined by Statistics Canada, in addition to one or both official languages.

With a current driver workforce of approximately 291,700, based on current Statistics Canada Labour Force Data, this means we have over 56,800 employees using a language other than English and/or French in our workplaces.

Punjabi is, by far, the most common non-official language used in trucking and logistics workplaces, accounting for 60% of non-official languages used at work by drivers and 33% for fleet managers.

After Punjabi, the most common non-official languages used are German, Spanish, Polish, Russian, Mandarin and Cantonese.

Provincial Distribution

Ontario is home to almost half of Canada’s drivers and fleet managers who use non-official languages at work.  British Columbia has the second highest, followed by Alberta (See Table 1)

 

Almost 80% of Punjabi speaking drivers are based in Ontario and British Columbia. These provinces are also home to the largest proportions of Mandarin (64% and 30%) and Cantonese (62% and 33%) speaking truck drivers. Alberta and Manitoba are home to most of the truck drivers who use German at 55% and 24% respectively.

Language Diversity in Practice

The majority of language diversity challenges experienced by employers was with their drivers — with over 40% of survey respondents “agreeing” or “somewhat agreeing” that the language diversity of truck drivers is a real challenge.

Employers indicated that ineffective communication overall impedes productivity. Examples given include tasks taking longer to complete, workers taking longer to explain instructions or relay information, and safety or compliance measures being compromised.

This is an important consideration.  With our driver vacancy rate at a record high, increasing the productivity of our current workforce is a business imperative.

The Industry’s Response

Employers are working to build effective lines of communication and two thirds of survey respondents “agree” or “somewhat agree” that their approach to language diversity is effective.

The most common approach amongst our survey respondents to ensure effective communication within a company’s workforce was to hire managers or supervisors who can speak other languages. Others included:

  • hiring staff in other key positions (e.g., dispatcher) who can speak other languages
  • providing language training in French and/ or English
  • posting notices in languages other than French and/ or English
  • encouraging staff to use google translate
  • developing study packets for drivers that display information using visuals and that articulate information in a clear and concise way.

Effective communication is the foundation of strong workplace cultures that supports safety, driver retention, productivity, and more.  Ensuring your employees can effectively communicate with each other, customers, and others is one approach that can help ensure you continue to succeed on all fronts.

 

Employment, Residency and Jobs for Ukrainians in Canada

Employment, Residency and Jobs for Ukrainians in Canada

Craig Faucette

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine is close to entering its fourth month, more and more Ukrainians are looking to flee the conflict and resettle in welcoming countries. And, Canada is one of many countries opening its doors to Ukrainian newcomers.  As they arrive looking to create a new home, many supports are being made available, such as settlement services, housing and employment services. Our industry is also well positioned to help. The following information describes various pathways into Canada for Ukrainians and how trucking and logistics employers may be able to help.

Pathway to Canada:

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRRC) has introduced new immigration streams for Ukrainians who want to come to Canada temporarily or permanently. A Canada-Ukrainian Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) has been created, which is available for those fleeing the Ukraine and their immediate family members. There are no limits to the number of Ukrainians who can apply. This will eliminate most of the usual visa requirements in order to acquire residency in a timely matter. Their stay can also be extended by two years if needed. The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) has made pending files a priority to renew work permits, study permits, temporary residence and proof of citizenship while Ukrainian nationals are residing in Canada. The Canadian Border Services Agency also has a temporary measure put in place (Administrative Deferral of Removals) in order to delay Ukrainian nationals, currently residing in Canada, from having to leave the country.

Family Sponsorship:

Canadian citizens and permanent residents can apply to sponsor eligible family members to come to Canada. Applications are still to be submitted through usual procedures. Applications for immediate family members will be prioritized by the IRCC through the use of a special family reunification sponsorship pathway.

For more information on the immigration process visit:

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/ukraine-measures/cuaet.html

Employment for Ukrainian nationals in Canada:

All Ukrainians who come to Canada as part of these measures are eligible to apply for open work permits and employers will be able to hire Ukrainian nationals through the process of CUAET. Employers looking to hire Ukrainian nationals in Canada can set up an employer profile on the Government of Canada’s Job Bank website, and then create a posting and submit a form (provided by the Job Bank site) specifically designed for this purpose. Ukrainian nationals in Canada can also visit the Job Bank’s job board free of cost.

Organizations Supporting Ukrainian Refugees:

There are over 550 organizations helping refugees with settlement and integration into Canadian society.  These organizations help with settlement and adaption services such as health, housing, schooling for children, continuing education, social services, and employment services to just name a few.

Connecting and building relationships with these organizations may be a valuable link to connecting to refugees and providing an avenue for employment with your company.  The Government of Canada has a settlement services finder that refugees can use to look for services in the communities they settle in.  Employers may find the tool useful to identifying local agencies that they can reach out and partner with.

https://ircc.canada.ca/english/newcomers/services/index.asp

Jobs for Ukrainians Facebook Group:

Facebook groups have been created that aim to facilitate contact between Ukrainians arriving in Canada who are seeking employment and employers who are hiring.  This may be a potential resource to help support Ukrainian newcomers while filling some of your recruitment needs.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/331716475664506

https://www.facebook.com/groups/canadahostukrainians

https://www.facebook.com/groups/375451514101214/?multi_permalinks=413898476923184

As Ukrainians look to seek refuge or make Canada their new home, there are many opportunities for our industry to help make the process much smoother.  Offering opportunities and support to newcomers can help individuals who are fleeing incredibly difficult and traumatic circumstances while providing a head start on a new life in Canada.

Driving Diversity: How to develop DEI policies that work

Driving Diversity: How to develop DEI policies that work

Angela Splinter

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) sometimes feel like a “check the box” exercise, which is why these initiatives can fall short as you try to establish a culture where employees can imagine themselves as key contributors.

For many trucking and logistics employers, just getting started with DEI is the hard part. The longer you wait to develop policies and practices, the more you risk missing out on finding top talent among underrepresented people and reaping the benefits of a more inclusive workplace.

This is why Driving Diversity is the theme of our annual Women with Drive Leadership Summit on June 2 in Toronto.

This year’s conference will examine what it means to hire, train, and retain a more representative workforce in trucking and logistics, with a special emphasis on DEI tools, strategies, and best practices.

Our morning panel includes DEI experts from academia, government, employers, and business who will share ideas and actions they have taken to increase diversity across the industry.

The afternoon features what has quickly become the most popular piece of the program, the Learning Highway, where delegates can participate in speed-learning on topics including:

  • Using social media and marketing to recruit a diverse workforce
  • Workforce planning through diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Canada Labour Code compliance
  • Using industry-specific wage subsidies to support recruiting a diverse workforce

The conference is also a place for HR professionals to network and learn from each other, and to access DEI resources they can take back and share with their own teams.

These resources include Recruiting and Retaining Diverse Communities: An Employer Roadmap. Produced in partnership with the Alberta Motor Transport Association, this guide identifies specific groups that are underrepresented in the industry and provide strategies that can help attract, recruit, and retain diverse talent.

THRC will introduce a suite of tools that HR professionals can use to create and implement effective DEI policies; manage hybrid and flexible workplaces; improve performance appraisals; develop workplace wellness programs; and create a compensation philosophy. Developed specifically for trucking and logistics employers, these resources will be available from the THRC website and provide templates and step-by-step support for HR teams.

DEI policies don’t exist as a “favour” to underrepresented groups. They’re intended to help employers establish and maintain a workplace that is welcoming, supportive, and draws strength from the knowledge and experiences that come from a diverse workforce.

Register and join us in Toronto on June 2 to learn more.

Trucking HR Canada’s wage subsidy programs are now fully part of Emterra’s recruitment strategy

Trucking HR Canada's wage subsidy programs are now fully part of Emterra's recruitment strategy

Janine Welch doesn’t miss a single issue of Trucking HR Canada’s e-bulletin called “HR Insights”. That’s actually how the human resources manager at Emterra Group learned about the organization’s Career ExpressWay initiative and the different wage subsidy programs available.

The Canada-wide waste and recycling company has now hired over 15 new workers with the support of wage and new driver training subsidies available through the program. “We also use the program for different logistics positions,” Welch says to illustrate that, in addition to drivers and the people loading the refuse trucks, the Career Expressway contributed to the successful hiring of staff for roles in multiple departments such as mechanics and mechanic apprentices, dispatchers, operations specialists and marketing & communications experts to name a few.

The financial support is very helpful. It allows us an opportunity to consider and explore different recruitment and attraction strategies. The subsidy offers a fantastic opportunity for young workers to enter the industry and allows Emterra the financial flexibility to hire and train more employees,"

Janine Welch, Human Resources Manager, Emterra Group

Evaluating a candidates’ eligibility for the financial support brought by these Trucking HR Canada programs “up to $10,000 in wage subsidy for a worker aged 30 and under; up to $10,000 to pay the training fees of a new truck driver” has become second nature at the fleet. “As we hire people through our recruitment process, if a potential worker meets the hiring criteria, we submit their name to the program for approval,” Welch says.

With recycling being at the heart of Emterra?s mission, the money saved with Career ExpressWay is reused to find even more new talent. “The financial support is very helpful. It allows us an opportunity to consider and explore different recruitment and attraction strategies. The subsidy offers a fantastic opportunity for young workers to enter the industry and allows Emterra the financial flexibility to hire and train more employees,” says the HR expert who cherishes the concepts of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Besides, the process is seamless. “It was very easy to navigate, and the turnaround time for processing a claim is minimal,” Welch says.

Getting access to young workers represents a considerable value in itself, according to the Emterra Group’s spokesperson. “The shifting demographics make it even more important to attract and retain a young workforce, the wage and the training subsidy programs are very important for companies like Emterra to take advantage of,” she says.

“Young workers bring new ideas and perspectives. They’re always confident to share their ideas and provide feedback. They have a natural attraction and understanding of technology, and a strong desire to make a positive impact in the world. These traits are beneficial in supporting Emterra?s mission of enabling people and businesses to become stewards of the environment.”

Curbside appeal

At 28 years old, Kyle McGlynn-Bye already has several years of experience in the waste and recycling business. He used to be the one running behind the refuse truck to load it. Now he’s the one behind the wheel, as Career ExpressWay funded the training that led him to get his Class 1 licence.

“My dad has been involved with recycling and garbage collection since he and my mom got together, so I’ve been around trucks my whole life,” says the young man from Peterborough, Ontario. But he’s still learning every day, building on his past experience, which gave him an edge as a driver. “I already knew what the job involved. There?s always more to learn, though, with doing this job because there are always new houses, new roads. There’s always something that can make things change in a moment,” he says.

Driving a refuse truck is certainly a unique kind of trucking that requires special skills. It’s a constant stop-and-go and the driver needs to stay focused at all times in case someone pulls out in front of his vehicle. There’s also the challenge of navigating in narrow streets with cars parked on both sides, a situation that gets even worse in wintertime.

Nonetheless, it’s still trucking, a heavily regulated industry. “I didn’t really realize how many rules and regulations there actually were for bigger commercial vehicles than there are for cars. There’s a lot more that you need to pay attention to,? McGlynn-Bye says, referring to what he learned during his subsidized driver training.

“It’s not always easy, but I work with a great group of guys,” McGlynn-Bye summarizes about his new career as a truck driver.

And thanks to Trucking HR Canada?s Career ExpressWay, that group could very well expand soon, according to Janine Welch. “It’s really an excellent program. It’s got lots of opportunities for those young people to get into the trucking and logistics sector. Emterra has been really pleased to be part of the program and we do look forward to continuing our support and participation,” she concludes.

To learn more about the wage subsidy and subsidized driver training programs, and how you too can benefit from this opportunity, please visit THRC Career Expressway or e-mail [email protected].

Trucking HR’s wage subsidy program helped continuous improvement at Arrow Logistics

Trucking HR's wage subsidy program helped continuous improvement at Arrow Logistics

Labour shortages in the trucking and logistics sector have led several employers to use signing bonuses as a recruitment strategy. What if the tables turned? What if there were bonuses or incentives for employers who hire students or young workers?

That’s exactly what Arrow Logistics found through Trucking HR Canada’s Career ExpressWay when they hired a student, and were able to receive a subsidy equivalent to 75% (up to $7,500) of that student hire’s wages through the Student Work Placement Program (SWPP).

I had my HR people look to see if there were any programs that would align with what we are doing and they are the ones who found the program, says McLean Cruthers, Project & Logistics Manager at Arrow Logistics about SWPP.

During a particularly busy period at Arrow, they noticed they needed help in warehouse logistics. The financial support from Trucking HR Canada (THRC) certainly helped Cruthers sell the idea of recruiting additional staff to upper management, he says.

Cruthers, having experienced being a co-op student himself as he began his career, was excited by the opportunity to introduce a young worker to the industry. I myself was a younger person in the industry. I, too, went through a similar student program that I hired with, he recalls.

Jeff Duong, the young man he recruited through the Career ExpressWay program, is 26 years old and on his way to earning a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce with a major in Supply Chain Management at MacEwan University in Edmonton.

My main job was to make sure that containers were arriving at specific times as well as organizing the warehouse and making sure that the products are going at the time that is needed, Duong says about his placement experience.

Getting better all the time

Cruthers liked Duong’s analytic approach to his work. We can always work more on the continuous improvement and, even though we’re doing well now, it doesn’t mean we can’t be doing better, he says.

Duong contributed to improving some aspects of the company’s operations and the partial wage subsidy was an added bonus. By the end of my co-op internship, I was able to improve upon some of the communication as well as inventory accuracy and efficiencies within the warehouse operations, the young man says about his time at Arrow.

 

Getting work experience before graduating and thus becoming even more attractive to future employers was Duong’s plan when he joined the SWPP. According to Cruthers, it was a win-win situation. It worked both ways. We were giving a student an opportunity and we were getting somebody we could hire for eight months through that contract work and get financial support. When I look just at my division, it helped in the overall bottom line, for sure, he says.

Cruthers helped Duong understand the functioning of the warehouse from the ground up and taught him what the forklift operators and the drivers go through before taking it to the next level of supervising.

You definitely have to be able to balance giving them an everyday job where they can get to a role, have functions that help operate the business on a day-to-day basis and keep the business going while also finding ways to develop through new things that happen as well, Cruthers says.

And new things happen all the time in the trucking and logistics sector, Duong learned. Something that was not in his books at University. You can’t really plan out everything because at the end of the day, when you’re working with trucks there will be things that go wrong all the time, he says about the need to have contingency plans and continually adapt to the situation.

His initial interest in logistics developed during travel in China in 2019, as he was visiting a trade city called Yiwu. I was mesmerized by the amounts of inventory and products that were there. I wanted to understand how that worked, Duong recalls.

Arrow contributed to that understanding. Cruthers says he and Duong had very interesting discussions about the evolution of the whole supply chain environment. Just having engaged conversations about that was, I guess, the most rewarding thing, Cruthers says, referring to the passion he could see in the intern’s eyes.

While it was the first time that Arrow hired a young worker through such an initiative, it probably won’t be the last. If the opportunity is there, for sure we’ll definitely do that, Cruthers says about using the Career ExpressWay program again.

To learn more about the Student Work Placement Program, and how you too can benefit from this opportunity, please visit THRC Career Expressway or e-mail [email protected].

A new year brings new rules for trucking and logistics employers

A new year brings new rules for trucking and logistics employers

Craig Faucette

The beginning of the year has brought on a new set of changes that federally regulated employers will need to be aware of. These recent amendments to the Canada Labour Code include new standards for leaves of absence, occupational health and safety requirements and pay equity. As we roll into 2022 let’s take a closer look at these rules and some of the resources that can help trucking and logistics organizations prepare.

Bill C-3

Bill C-3 amends the Canada Labour Code to expand paid sick days and bereavement leave. Though the bill was passed in December 2021, there has been no announcement about when the new provisions will take effect. The goal is to give employers time to adjust their company policies and payroll.

Paid sick days: Employees will be entitled to three paid sick days after 30 days on the job, and one day paid sick leave per month of employment up to a maximum of 10 days per calendar year. Employers must pay the usual wage when sick days are taken.

Sick leave can be taken all at once or in shorter amounts, but employers can require that each period of leave is not less than one day. Also, employers can request a medical note for absences of five consecutive days or more. This request must be made no later than 15 days after an employee has come back to work.

Bereavement leave: An employee experiencing the death of an immediate family member is eligible for up to 10 days of leave (3 of which are paid if the employee has worked more than 30 days) between the day a death occurs and six weeks after any type of memorial service.

Death of a child: If the family member is a child, the employee is eligible for an unpaid leave up to eight weeks. This leave must be taken during a period that starts with the death or stillbirth of the child and ends 12 weeks after the date of the funeral, burial or memorial service.

Harassment and violence in the workplace

Last year the Canada Labour Code was amended to expand the obligation of federal employers to prevent, investigate and respond to incidents of workplace violence and harassment. The rules require employers to provide an annual report to the Minister of Labour by March 1 of every year, starting in 2022.

The Employer’s Annual Harassment and Violence Occurrence Report (EAHVOR) must detail any workplace incidents, the measures taken to resolve them and the average time it took to complete the process.

With the reporting deadline upon us, it’s important to know how to file an EAHVOR and meet other obligations regarding workplace harassment and violence. Our Understanding the Workplace Harassment & Violence Prevention Regulations resource can help.

Human Rights Commission on Pay Equity

The Pay Equity Act came into force last August, establishing that federally regulated employers must provide equal pay for work of equal value across job classes.

The first requirement under the Act was to notify employees about the creation of a pay equity plan (the deadline to post a notice was Nov. 1, 2021). Employers have three years to form a committee, complete their plan and adjust compensation based on the findings.

This process will take time and the requirements vary depending on the number of employees, so don’t wait to get started. Check out our guide, The New Pay Equity Agenda 7 Steps to Compliance, to learn more.

Things to Come

Labour Canada is considering other changes to the Canada Labour Code as stated in the Minister’s Mandate letter after the election in the fall. Among them:

  • Development of a right to-disconnect policy within federally regulated workplaces.
  • Making mental health as part of workplace health and safety and requiring federally regulated employers to have measures to deal with stress at the workplace.

Trucking HR Canada has a range of resources and will continue to develop more to support employers in complying with all new regulations. Keep your eyes open for upcoming webinars that will go into greater detail about some of the changes around paid sick days and pay equity.

Groupe Guilbault hires seven young workers thanks to Trucking HR Canada’s wage subsidy program

Groupe Guilbault hires seven young workers thanks to Trucking HR Canada's wage subsidy program

Camille Pitt is a senior human resources advisor for Groupe Guilbault, a large fleet headquartered in Quebec City. Guilbault being one of Trucking HR Canada’s (THRC) Top Fleet Employers, she takes a keen interest in the organization’s activities.

That’s how she found out about the Career ExpressWay initiative. “I saw that there was a wage subsidy that could apply to us,” Pitt says about the program that provides financial support for hiring people under the age of 30 into various positions in the trucking industry.

In Guilbault’s case, this program has helped recruit seven forklift operators and truck drivers. “For example, when we hired a forklift operator, the first $15,000 he received was reimbursed by Trucking HR Canada,” she explains.

One of the goals of the subsidy program is to improve the employment conditions of young workers. “It was either to help someone who was unemployed get back to work or to improve their salary conditions a little bit,” Pitt says, adding that the program was hassle-free to manage.

“Signing up was very, very easy. I filled out a form, talked to the people at THRC, they explained everything to me and I was enrolled. We were reimbursed every month; it was a very simple process.”

The fact that the wage subsidy program applies to all industry occupations, not just drivers, is very appropriate according to the human resources professional at Guilbault.

“There is a labour shortage in all trades,” she says, adding that when a candidate shows interest in a company, you have to be very proactive not to lose them. “When someone applies at 8:15 in the morning, if they’re called at 1:30 in the afternoon they’ve already been contacted by four or five companies. It goes really fast,” she says.

25-year old Davin Larin was hired as a truck driver through the THRC program. He now has a Class 1 driver’s license after successfully completing his training at the Charlesbourg CFTC training centre. After initially being paired with an experienced driver for training, he now does a lot of local deliveries to Guilbault customers near the Quebec City terminal.

David was exposed to the industry at a young age as his father, Benoit, has been a truck driver himself for 20 years. He even took him on a trip to Maine when he was a child.

Field experience

Yet, being in the passenger seat or in professional training is no substitute for on-the-job experience, David admits, citing reversing maneuvers, which are common in local transportation. “You do a lot more backing up on the job than you did in school,” he says.

That’s the kind of thing Pitt is referring to when she talks about being patient with younger employees, and it pays big dividends, she says.

“We can really shape them to our corporate culture; they don’t have bad habits yet. Sometimes, it’s easier to train someone who is more junior than someone who has 25 years of experience at another company because there’s nothing to undo. You just have to build,” she says.

Given the opportunity, young people hired through the Career Express Way programs can also contribute to the evolution of their company. For example, it was David’s suggestion to the health and safety manager that a checklist for hazardous materials hauling be placed in the tablets used by drivers, a suggestion that was adopted and put into practice.

The young man envisions a career in the industry, as a truck driver or perhaps even a dispatcher. “If I can advance, I will,” he says of his eventual progression within the company.

Offering young people a career path is one of the benefits that Guilbault’s senior human resources advisor sees in THRC’s wage subsidy programs.

And not just for drivers. “Forklift operators can become team leaders and eventually foremen, or they can move into office positions,” says Pitt, giving the example of the route planner occupation.

Beyond the financial support, she says the Career ExpressWay program facilitates access to a pool of younger workers, a valuable asset in an industry with an ageing workforce.

“In terms of drivers and forklift operators, it’s really the next generation that we see. If we had to do without young people, we really wouldn’t have enough employees,” she says, noting that she also sees retention benefits in hiring young workers.

“Young people often learn and adapt more easily. They have a desire to do well and improve. They’re also often more loyal to their employer because they’ve been given their first chance, trained and everything. And they’re often more comfortable with technology,” Pitt observes.

When she looks at the industry around her, she notices that the Career ExpressWay programs have created a buzz. “It’s been a pretty popular grant,” Pitt says.

One thing is for sure, Groupe Guilbault plans to continue to take advantage of the programs offered through THRC’s Career ExpressWay. “We intend to do the wage subsidy program again to hire young workers. We’re definitely going to go ahead with this one,” says the human resources professional.

Especially that “Hiring young people with little or no experience requires the cooperation of co-workers, trainers and supervisors,” Pitt says about the sense of belonging being reinforced through team work.

That’s one of the goals of Trucking HR Canada’s Career ExpressWay programs.

To learn more about the Employer Wage Support for Youth program, and how you too can benefit from this opportunity, please visit THRC Career Expressway or e-mail [email protected].