Government ministries, agencies, corporations, commissions and associations face a number of unique challenges that private-sector organizations do not. These include additional statutory requirements—from wage restraints to public accountability—operating in an ever-changing political environment and resource constraints that are common to almost all publicly funded institutions.
We have a long-standing history of providing advice within the public sector and we draw on the depth of this experience to help our clients with their human resources needs. We understand the dynamics (political, cultural, socio-economic, financial) that impact this sector and we are sensitive to the responsibility which comes with public accountability and the significance of public perception to publicly funded agencies. We are regularly retained as counsel on leading-edge or novel issues facing government organizations. We have also taken leading advisory roles on change issues—from pensions and privatization to public-sector divestment and transformation.
Our lawyers assist with the management of non-unionized workplaces in the government sector and in promoting the ongoing development and implementation of policies and procedures to enhance employee engagement.
Our clients in this industry include:
- provincial government ministries
- high commissions
- provincial government agencies such as the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion and the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation
We help government ministries and agencies proactively manage and resolve their labour and employment issues across the human resources spectrum including:
- collective bargaining within the challenging framework of wage and broader public sector restraint
- pension, benefits and executive compensation including sophisticated plan amendments and challenges to benefits
- employment standards
- human rights
- information and privacy issues including data breach advice and representation
- interest and rights arbitrations including discipline and discharge, layoff, compensation, overtime, allowances and sick leave grievances
- occupational health and safety
- workplace safety and insurance matters
- pay equity
- Charter litigation
- administrative law advice
We also represent government employers in a wide variety of forums, appearing before arbitrators, labour boards, human rights tribunals and courts.