Conference / Seminar

2014 Ottawa Client Conference / Conférences de 2014 pour nos clients

Event Details

May 9, 2014
8:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

The Westin Ottawa
11 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON

Stay on the leading edge of Human Resources change

Change is a constant in the human resources world – with new laws and court decisions and the evolution of best practices.

Employers must take the lead in responding to these emerging challenges – and Hicks Morley is pleased to be your partner in navigating this change. Join us as we discuss the latest legal developments – and present effective tips, strategies and practices that can help your organization stay on the leading edge of human resources management.

Demeurez à la fine pointe des développements en ressources humaines

Le changement est le seul élément constant dans le milieu des ressources humaines, grce à la nouvelle législation, les décisions des tribunaux et l’évolution des meilleures pratiques.

Les employeurs doivent jouer un rôle moteur en relevant ces nouveaux défis. Hicks Morley est heureux de vous accompagner afin de mener à bien ces changements. Joignez-vous à nous pour discuter des plus récents développements juridiques, et pour obtenir des conseils très utiles ainsi que des stratégies et des pratiques qui peuvent aider votre organisme à demeurer un chef de file en matière de la gestion des ressources humaines.



Registration and Continental Breakfast


Opening Remarks and Welcome


A Whirlwind Tour of Critical New Developments in Human Resources Law and Advocacy

A fast-paced, tightly focused review of developments that you need to know about.

The evolution of workplace pension and benefits programs

Lisa J. Mills

What a difference a generation makes. The 2014 Canadian pension and benefits landscape looks very different today than it did 30 years ago – and governments and employers continue to grapple with how to ensure that Canadians have affordable health benefits and a financially sound retirement. This presentation will provide an overview of current trends relating to workplace pension and benefit plans.

Anti-spam legislation – Is your organization ready?

Siobhan M. O’Brien

On July 1, 2014, Canada’s new anti-spam legislation (CASL) will come into force and regulate “commercial electronic messages”. While this new legislation will impact some organizations more than others, all organizations should assess and revise as necessary their marketing, sales and other communications practices. This presentation will address CASL in a nutshell, and provide tips to help ensure your organization is ready.

Minimize your risk: Mental stress and the WSIB

George G. Vuicic

Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Act contains strict limits on when an employee can claim WSIB benefits as a result of mental stress – either in the workplace or as a result of an injury. But decisions from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) are expanding the scope of mental stress related benefits claims, and this has significant implications for how employers handle these cases. This session will review recent case-law developments, and provide guidance on the best practices that employers should be following to minimize the risks associated with a claim for mental stress.

Clarity emerging: Family status accommodation

Leanne N. Fisher

While employees may request accommodation for childcare and eldercare obligations under human rights legislation on the basis of “family status,” the full scope of these protections – and the extent to which employers must accommodate – is still under development. But some clear principles and trends are emerging. This session will review recent developments in the case law, highlight the key trends, and provide employers with tips for assessing and responding to requests for accommodation.

Strategies for change: Terms and conditions of employment

Sophia Duguay

The workplace is a dynamic place, and employers often need to make changes. But unilaterally changing the terms and conditions of employment creates the risk of a constructive dismissal claim. Limiting this risk and potential liability involves both a pragmatic understanding of the rules and awareness of the most recent developments in the law. This session will review strategies that employers can consider when implementing changes in their workplaces.

Liability check: The updated facts on pay equity

Cheryl A. Waram

The financial consequences of failing to comply with the requirements of the Pay Equity Act can be staggering. Employers without valid pay equity plans – or those with plans that have not been maintained – could face liabilities going back 24 years. And recent initiatives being taken by the Pay Equity Commission have revealed the extent to which employers remain vulnerable. Understand what the legislation requires, and the challenges that it imposes on employers, before the Commission comes calling.

Contracts, covenants, compensation: Recent decisions that could impact you

Andrew J. McCreary

Restrictive covenants are an important and always-evolving area of the law for employers – and they frequently overlap with the thorny issue of executive compensation. This session will provide you with in-depth knowledge and practical insights based on key recent decisions of the courts.

Health and safety first: Details on developments

Colin J. Youngman

There have been a number of recent developments in health and safety across a range of areas, from a determination of what defines a workplace under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, to criminal charges for health and safety violations, to decisions involving violence in the workplace. In this session, we will review some of these developments and what they mean for your organization.

Put it in writing: Tips for contract drafting

Vincent M. Panetta

Written employment contracts offer many benefits – from tailoring terms and conditions to the needs of the parties, to; achieving greater certainty than the common law provides, to reducing the risk of litigation in the event of a future employment dispute. In this session, we will consider some recent developments in the cases, and what they tell us about drafting enforceable contractual terms.

The medium and the message: Employer communications during organizing campaigns

Charles V. Hofley

Your organization is facing an organization campaign, or perhaps has been served with a certification application. What can you say to your employees? Where is the line between employer free speech and an unjust labour practice to be drawn? In this session, we will review recent developments on what is permissible – and provide principles to help you develop a communications strategy should the need arise.


Networking Coffee Break

Please note that the session below will also be available in French, in a separate break-out room.


Overcoming challenges in attendance management

Colin J. Youngman and Cheryl A. Waram

One of the ongoing challenges facing employers is ensuring employees regularly attend at work, while successfully applying the myriad legal obligations and rights that allow employees to legitimately be away from the workplace. In this session, we will address the top challenges facing employers when managing employee attendance, and provide tips for avoiding some common employer pitfalls.

Veuillez noter que cette séance sera également présentée en anglais, dans une salle distincte.

Surmonter les obstacles dans la gestion de l’absentéisme

George G. Vuicic

S’assurer que les employés se présentent régulièrement au travail – tout en respectant la myriade d’obligations et de droits qui permettent aux employés de s’absenter du travail légitimement – est l’un des défis constants auxquels font face les employeurs. Pendant cette séance, nous aborderons les problèmes les plus importants auxquels sont confrontés les employeurs dans la gestion de l’assiduité, et nous offrirons des pistes de solutions pour éviter les embûches les plus fréquentes qui les guettent.


Moving the goalposts: Shifts and changes in employment standards

Andrew J. McCreary and Siobhan M. O’Brien

One of the most basic, yet more complex, areas in human resources management relates to compliance with minimum standards legislation. This area of law is further complicated by the changing entitlements made available to employees, and by court interpretations that favour employee entitlements. In this session, we will provide answers to a series of frequently asked questions, and update you on recent developments.


Ending it well: Managing employee terminations

Charles V. Hofley and Leanne N. Fisher

Terminating the non-union employment relationship involves a number of important legal and practical considerations. To minimize an employer’s potential liability, human resources professionals need to be aware of the issues that can arise during terminations – whether for cause or non-cause, or unjust dismissals under the Canada Labour Code – and be equipped with the knowledge necessary to respond effectively and appropriately. In this session, we will review common termination pitfalls, and highlight key case law developments in respect of damages and liability that can evolve your organization’s “best practices.”


Lunch and Luncheon Speaker – Information Bombardment: Rising above the digital onslaught

Dr. Nick Bontis, Ph.D.
Chair, Strategic Management, McMaster University
Director, Institute for Intellectual Capital Research
3M National Teaching Fellow

Ranked among the Top 30 management gurus and Top 5 management keynote speakers world-wide, Dr. Nick Bontis is recognized by the former Editor of Harvard Business Review and Fortune Magazine as “a pioneer and one of the world’s real experts in intellectual capital.” Maclean’s magazine has rated him as one of “McMaster University’s most popular business professors for six years in a row!” He is also a 3M National Teaching Fellow, an exclusive honour only bestowed upon the top university professors in the country!

Information bombardment is the single most damaging threat to productivity. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Why not leadershift this threat into a sustainable competitive advantage? During this enlightening and action-packed presentation you will learn how to:

  • cope with information bombardment
  • improve your ability to manage change
  • lift productivity and efficiency
  • speed up innovation through collaboration
  • achieve industry leading competitiveness
  • determine what leadership action you can take tomorrow


Conference Ends