The energy and utilities sector is complex and highly regulated, with some employers governed by provincial workplace laws and others governed federally. The sector has undergone considerable transformation in recent years, with amalgamations within the industry and the push for clean energy creating unique human resources challenges.
Wage restraint legislation at the executive level and a push for “net zero” collective bargaining for unionized employees have led to salary compression issues, along with challenges relating to employee morale, retention and recruitment. The sector must also deal with extensive media and public scrutiny on a variety of controversial issues—from nuclear power, coal-fired electrical generation and alternative energy sources, to public salary disclosure.
With our years of experience in this sector, we can assist you in navigating the complexities associated with operating in this industry.
We act for all types of energy and utilities employers including:
- generation and transmission companies
- power commissions and authorities
- electrical power and natural gas distributors
- regional and provincial power companies
- waste management organizations
We assist our energy clients on a broad range of human resource issues, including advice and representation on:
- labour relations board matters including jurisdictional disputes between unions, job evaluation and wage grid disputes, certification applications, successor and related-employer applications, unfair labour practices and complaints
- grievances and arbitrations
- collective bargaining, interpretation of collective agreements and negotiation of project agreements
- proceedings before administrative tribunals and the courts, including injunctions
- executive compensation issues including compliance with wage restraint legislation and pension matters arising out of management compensation adjustments before and after amalgamations or restructurings
- restructuring to a GoCo (government-owned, privately operated company) model
- health and safety legislation compliance
- employment best practices—from recruitment and structuring of employment agreements to performance management, discipline and scheduling—to encourage employee retention and mitigate the risk of future employment-related issues
- employment law issues including wrongful dismissal and human rights matters
- privacy and access to information requests