Trucking HR Canada’s Top 3 Tips to Communicate Policy Changes to Employees

By: Katrina Pizzino

The new year will bring important changes to the Canada Labour Code. Come January 1, 2021, employers will need to ensure they maintain compliance with new Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations (the Regulations).  Part of ensuring compliance involves adequately and clearly communicating the regulatory changes to employees. This entails adhering to HR best practices of being transparent about these relevant changes.

Amongst other obligations, employers will need to develop a new company policy on harassment and violence, provide on-going education to employees, and develop a process to address and report claims of harassment and violence in the workplace. Employers should be mindful of the three main elements of the new anti-harassment and violence legislation contained in Bill C-65:

  • Prevent incidents of harassment and violence
  • Respond effectively to those incidents
  • Support affected employees

 

Here are our top 3 tips to help you get started:

1. COMMUNICATE THE CHANGES

  • Share the message visually in the workplace; display policies in common areas – such as lunchrooms or other staff common areas
  • Send out digital as well as hardcopies of new policies in the form of internal handbooks or guide updates
  • Hold a mandatory virtual staff meeting to communicate policy updates

2. PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR FEEDBACK

  • Significant policy change requires a more immersive communication process so that employees understand the change at hand
  • Offer opportunities to follow-up or offer more guidance as necessary
  • Allow for open-ended sessions where employees can vocalize their feedback, and allow for anonymous feedback and questions after training sessions
  • Provide a welcoming environment for employees to feel safe and to be able to vocalize all their questions, concerns, or general comments
  • Address employee feedback openly, frankly, and in a timely manner

3. LEVERAGE YOUR TEAM

  • A good way to communicate a new policy or procedure is by identifying leaders within your team who can be “champions” amongst their peers
  • Leveraging leaders on your team can help make sure that employees can raise any questions or concerns
  • Supervisors or managers with a solid understanding of new policies and procedures are better placed to help employees and can ensure that appropriate protocols are being followed

Employers have increased responsibilities in matters of workplace health and safety and a duty to prevent, respond to, and support employees in matters of harassment and violence.

While communicating crucial information and change in the workplace is challenging, it can be simplified with the proper tools and resources to support you.

We can help you make sense of these new regulatory changes.  Our landing page has industry-specific tools and resources to help you learn more about anti-harassment and violence obligations. Starting in early January 2021, Trucking HR Canada will also offer affordable training that is industry specific and designed to help you meet the requirements in the new Regulations. Click HERE for more.

Following 2020: here’s what trucking and logistics HR pros should expect next

By: Angela Splinter

As an unsettled 2020 comes to an end, let’s look at what 2021 will have in store for our trucking and logistics workplaces.

The modernization of Canada’s Labour Code

In what our own Policy Analyst Marisha Tardif has likened to a “legislative tsunami,” recent amendments to the Canada Labour Code include new labour standards, wage-fairness rules, and occupational health and safety requirements.

Many of these regulations took effect in September 2019 but several are yet to come. Notably, the amendments of Bill C-65 and the accompanying regulations which protect against harassment and violence in the workplace.

The Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations, published in June, make a long-awaited detail official: new anti-harassment and violence provisions will take effect on January 1, 2021.

The regulations will apply to all workplaces covered under Part II of the Canada Labour Code, including many trucking and logistics employers.

NOC updates

Canada is now conducting its 10-year review of the National Occupational Classification (NOC), the federal system for categorizing job types in the country, including truck driving.

The next release includes new job-skill classifications that address concerns about how the federal government incorporates formal and informal training, education, and work experience into the NOC.

In early 2021 we will see how truck drivers are classified in the new system, and how it will affect federal programs.

Training and wage subsidies

With the events of 2020 clearly demonstrating how important this industry is, Trucking HR Canada was able to access federal funds for training and wage subsidies for jobs in trucking and logistics.

Our Career ExpressWay program has successfully supported the training and onboarding of close to 100 young people across the country, in driving positions, logistics, IT support, administration, and more. It provides up to $10,000 for driver training and up to $15,000 in wage subsidy per employee.

Our hope is that we can expand our program in 2021 to better connect our industry to Canadians of all ages looking for meaningful work in a sector with loads of career opportunities.

Diversity and inclusion

No longer buzzwords, workplace diversity and inclusion will remain a focus of Trucking HR Canada as we help employers expand the pipeline of talent into our industry.

One key initiative is our 2021 Women with Drive Leadership Summit, planned for March 10th.  With an international flair, we look forward to learning from and virtually connecting with a global network of women who have stepped up in their respective countries in responding to the challenges of COVID-19.

Driver shortages

Whether you believe it or not, we are on track for more acute driver shortages.

That is why Trucking HR Canada is planning to bring together industry stakeholders to define the root causes of our recruitment and retention challenges, from compensation structures to the nature of long-haul trucking driving itself.

The shortage of qualified drivers is an enduring issue. But there are always new approaches and new ideas that can inform innovative and practical solutions.

Growing our Top Fleet Employers

Now in its eighth year, our Top Fleet Employers program has grown steadily.

Our Top Fleet Employers are leaders in promoting a positive image of trucking and logistics and offering great places to work. By sharing sound HR policies and practices, they set an important example as we reach out to young people, women, and other job seekers.

Each year trucking and logistics companies undergo a rigorous application process but only the best are recognized as Top Fleet Employers. Applications close January 28, and you can click here to learn more: https://truckinghr.com/top-fleet-employers/

 

COVID-19

Where things will go in 2021 is anyone’s guess, but we know for sure that trucking and logistics will be pivotal to ensuring all essential goods—from food to fuel, and even more importantly, vaccines—get to all Canadians.

Rest assured that Trucking HR Canada and all of our partners are here to support you in ensuring you have the skilled workforce you need to make that happen.

Cheers to 2021.

Major revisions coming to Canada’s National Occupational Classification

By: Angela Splinter

Canada is overhauling the National Occupational Classification (NOC) — the national reference on occupations in Canada.

The NOC provides a systematic classification structure that categorizes the entire range of occupational activity in Canada for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating occupational data.  Every 10 years, the government conducts a major review of the NOC for the purposes of labour supply and demand analysis, skills development, occupational forecasting, and other programs and services.

The next release, scheduled for early 2021, includes a new structural approach.  Let’s take a look:

New “TEER” approach

Reflecting changes in the economy and the nature of work, the NOC 2021 revision will overhaul the “skill level” structure by introducing a new categorization representing the degree of training, education, experience, and responsibilities (TEER) required for an occupation.

The new TEER categorization considers the type of education, training, and experience required for entry, as well as the complexities and responsibilities typical of an occupation. This new structure has a scale of 0 to 5:

 

  • TEER 0 is defined as high-level management.
  • TEER 1 occupations usually require a university education or previous experience and expertise in subject matter knowledge from a related occupation found within TEER 2.
  • TEER 2 usually requires post-secondary education, apprenticeship, or occupations with supervisory or significant safety responsibilities.
  • TEER 3 occupations require less than two years of post-secondary education or on-the-job instruction.
  • TEERs 4 and 5 usually require a high-school diploma or no formal education.

 

Better representation

The federal government says the TEER system better reflects the way people develop their skills and knowledge.

The revisions introduce changes that will make the new classification system more representative, useful, and achieve a more balanced representation of occupation groupings within a given classification. It will also address many existing concerns about how skill levels are categorized under the existing system.

 

Milestone dates

With a new NOC on the way, here are some key dates to consider:

  • December 2020: Publication of the spreadsheet with the revised NOC codes.
  • Early 2021: Release of the full classification for the NOC code (including the leading statements, main duties, employment requirements, example titles, inclusions, exclusions, and additional information).
  • Spring 2022: Government programs and departments will implement the new NOC at their discretion. While Statistics Canada will implement in early 2021, Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is planning on Spring 2022 implementation, which will impact the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

 

At this point, we don’t know of any specific changes to NOC 7511, how truck drivers will be classified in the TEER system, or if the new classification will result in changes to affected programs.

Stay tuned. Trucking HR Canada, the Canadian Trucking Alliance, and your provincial trucking association will have updates as they become available.

New Anti-Harassment and Violence Obligations for Federally Regulated Fleets

New Anti-Harassment and Violence Obligations for Federally Regulated Fleets

July 7, 2020 by Marisha Tardif

 

Many fleets in our employer community have been following developments surrounding Bill C-65 – a piece of federal legislation that amends the Canada Labour Code by introducing new guidelines on how harassment and violence can be prevented in the workplace, and how to address it if and when it occurs. While Bill C-65 received Royal Assent in 2018, specifics surrounding employer obligations and compliance timelines remained to be confirmed. But as per recent updates, there is now new information surrounding detailed requirements that federally regulated employers will have to meet.

On June 24, 2020, the federal government published the Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations. The new framework will apply to the federally regulated private sector as of January 1st, 2021. Transportation companies that provide international and interprovincial services are regulated by the federal government and are therefore subject to these updates.

New rules will thus soon come into effect that will increase employers’ responsibilities in matters of workplace health and safety. The new Regulations set a framework of obligations centered on three elements: the prevention of workplace harassment and violence, the delivery of a timely and effective response to incidents, and the provision of support for affected employees. Based on these three pillars, the new Regulations bring changes in the following main areas:

  • Workplace harassment and violence prevention policy

    • Employers will be required to make available a workplace harassment and violence prevention policy that aligns with new Regulatory requirements.
  • Workplace assessments

    • Employers will have to conduct assessments that identify risks of harassment and violence in the workplace and implement preventative measures to protect the workplace from these risks.
  • Emergency procedures

    • Employers will be required to develop emergency procedures to be followed in situations where an occurrence of harassment and violence poses and immediate danger to the health and safety of an employee(s).
  • Training

    • Employers will be required to identify and develop harassment and violence training and ensure it is delivered to all members of the organization, including to employers themselves but also to employees, and to the designated recipient of harassment and violence complaints in the workplace. Training will need to align to specific guidelines proposed under the Regulations, and will be delivered once every three years, including in the onboarding of new employees.
  • Support measures

    • Employers will be required to make information available regarding support services that employees may access should they experience an incident of workplace harassment and violence.
  • Resolution process

    • Employers will be required to respond to every notification of an occurrence of harassment and violence in their workplace, but also to structure their response around a more detailed web of specific requirements (including prescribed timelines, processes, and procedures).
  • Records and reports

    • Employers will be required to keep records relating to harassment and violence in their workplace. They will also be required to submit annual reports to the Minister, as well as report on any fatalities that occur as a result of workplace harassment and violence.

It is clear from the above that the new Regulations will require major adjustments to policies, programs, and processes for many employers. Given new requirements, it is important for both employers and employees to understand the nature of these changes and how it will impact them and their workplace.

Trucking HR Canada is committed to providing trucking sector-specific resources to support the needs of the industry in adapting to these new changes. Central amongst these tools will be a bilingual suite of online and in-person training modules for employers, employees, and designated recipients of workplace harassment and violence complaints. Pamphlets that clarify employer and employee rights and obligations will also be made available, in addition to other forthcoming resources centered on best practices in workplace anti-harassment and violence. These supports will be made available in time for the January 2021 entry into force of the Regulations – follow our website and social media channels to find out more.

 

Get Ready for a Rebound from COVID-19

Get Ready for a Rebound from COVID-19

May 4, 2020 by Angela Splinter

Covid-19 has affected our industry and workforce in unprecedented ways.

Seemingly overnight, trucking and logistics firms transitioned from busy offices and terminals to remote work and virtual meetings. We shifted from acute labour shortages and packed trailers to layoffs and uncertain times for businesses and workers, all the while, this industry has kept essential goods moving.

Canada’s truck drivers have become national heroes. Warehouse workers, dispatchers, safety personnel, accountants, IT staff, and business leaders have also been catapulted to levels of public appreciation that none of us has ever experienced.

HR steps up to the plate

And another group has had to adapt suddenly and significantly too – our HR colleagues.

HR professionals have had to manage staffing changes, develop new working arrangements, ensure physical-distancing measures, check-in on the physical and mental well-being of employees, and navigate massive business relief programs sometimes all in the same day.

Their role has been and will continue to be essential to staff morale and business continuity.

As May flowers begin to open, it looks like our economy will, too (albeit slowly). Here are some ways that HR managers and their organizations can be prepared.

Remote working

Remote working is a new and perhaps enduring reality for many of us. For businesses, the current situation has shown that it’s possible for employees to be productive without coming into an office. HR folks are busy figuring out how and when to bring people back safely—if at all.

Now is the time to review your HR practices and policies and be ready for requests from employees who want to continue to have a flexible work arrangement.

This includes identifying which jobs and roles are best suited to remote working, and how to manage scheduling, reporting, technology, and issues like the security and confidentiality of information given the blurry lines between work and private life.

New workplace policies

There are legal ramifications to consider when it comes to overtime, leave, workplace safety, and financial arrangements between employers and employees who work remotely.

Self-isolation and quarantines will require new policies for reporting illnesses and returning to work. What are your protocols if an employee tests positive for Covid-19? What are the next steps to ensure the health of the individual and others that he or she may have come into contact with?

And procedures regarding layoffs, furloughs, and pay adjustments should be immediately reviewed in light of the circumstances.

Focus on technology

While employees will demand safe work environments that minimize human contact, so will health authorities. From health-assessment apps to digital documents and no-touch business processes, technology can help businesses be prepared for the predicted second wave and changes to the way we work in the future.

Having technology in place is just one piece of the puzzle.

HR people will need to ensure that the company has skilled staff to assess, manage, and analyze IT systems and processes. All kinds of businesses are scrambling now to hire IT people to support this shift, so be ready to commit the time and resources necessary for your HR team to compete and tackle the problem sooner rather than later.

It’s hard to know when the economy will rebound and more freight start to flow through supply chains again. But trucking and logistics companies that have their HR teams preparing for those days now will be best positioned to respond and profit when it does.

Until then, stay healthy and stay (virtually) in touch.

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