CSIL Module 4 Employer’s Legal Obligations
Module 4 employer’s legal obligations for the CSIL program is complex. If you are uncertain about any part of this process please seek professional or legal advice. Online forums and organizations with other CSIL employers can help with any questions or best practice suggestions.
As an employer and owner of a business you are legally responsible for meeting all employee obligations. Even if you do not intentionally, or accidentally, fail to meet the obligations, you are liable and can face monetary penalties.
We will not go into detail in this section but rather provide you with links to expert help and the regulations that mandate all employers.
If you hire a bookkeeper, ask them if they have experience in this area in the interview. It will be a great help to your success if they have training.
Key legislation for employers is:
- Employment Standards Act and Regulation
- Human Rights Code
- Workers Compensation Act (WCB) and Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (OHS)
- Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA)
- Income Tax Act
- Employment Insurance Act and Regulation
They govern the conditions of employments such as:
- Minimum Wages
- Hours Worked / Overtime
- Holiday Pay
- Minimum Notice / Payment in Lieu of notice
Human Rights legislation governs how you treat people. These are the 13 protected grounds of discrimination you need to be aware of when you are hiring employees, maintaining a work or professional relationship, and terminating them.
- Place of Origin
- Political Belief
- Marital Status
- Family Status
- Physical or Mental Disability
- Sexual Orientation
- Criminal Conviction ** if the conviction is not related to the person’s employment
Workers Compensation Act and Occupational Health and Safety Regulation
This part of the job is the most time consuming and demanding as far as meeting minimum standards. WCB requires you to:
- Always keep your employees safe, physically and mentally
- Maintain a minimum standard of care as outlined in their regulations.
- Educated as to workplace safety rules, regulations, and expectations on an ongoing basis
- Record all training and safety meetings
- Pay insurance premiums based on your industry rate and your gross payroll
WCB website is very comprehensive and there are most, if not all of the policies, procedures and recommendations you will need available online. You will be required to create a health and safety manual, have regular staff meetings and report any injuries. We would recommend keeping a daily journal about the staff and any incidents, regardless of how small, in the event you are audited, or have a claim.
WCB is a no fault insurance but if you are not incompliance, they will fine you or shut your business down.
Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA)
This governs how you can collect, store and share employee’s personal information. There are rules about who has access to the employee files, what type of information you request from employees and when consent from employees is required to obtain that information. All information must be used strictly for employment purposes.
Income Tax Act
This act governs requirements by Canada Revenue Agency regarding deductions off employee payroll and employer contributions for CPP, EI, and Income. There are strict rules about reporting and remitting these deductions and you will be fined for not complying. This Act also mandates the rules regarding completing, and submitting Records of Employment, when an employee no longer works for you – regardless of how the employment relationship ends. We would encourage you to hire an experienced bookkeeper for this purpose.
Common Legal Issues faced by Employers
- Dismissing employees – How much notice is required and how much are they owed
- Terminating employees for poor job performance or misconduct – this can be very complicated and contentious
- Accommodating Employees under the Human Rights Code
- Pregnancy or Parental Leave
- How much Vacation pay or time is owed
- What happens if an employee is injured on the job
- Employee contracts – what do I need to include
Preventing Legal Liability as an Employer
Reducing your risk of liability is a complicated part of any business owner’s company and CSIL is no different. Not knowing is not a valid excuse. Please make sure that you take the time to read and learn about your obligations or speak with a professional. Get a lawyer or someone with experience in this field to assist you with:
- Employee Contracts
- Setting up an OHS policy
- Submitting CRA remittances
- Reporting and staying compliant with WCB
- How to conduct a hiring process that does not discriminate
- Disciplinary and termination of employees.
Wishart Brain and Spine Law would encourage you to Seek the professional guidance from Individualized Funding Resources Center in Vancouver BC. They work with anyone in British Columbia setting up CSIL. There is a fee for the service but the base it on your situation and it can be paid by CSIL program as a eligible expense.
Resource list located in the CSIL workbook
Individualized Funding Resource Centre Society http://www.ifrcsociety.org
Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch, Lawyer Referral Service http://cbabc.org/For-the-Public/Lawyer-Referral-Service
Law Society of BC, Finding a Lawyer http://www.lawsociety.bc.ca/page.cfm?cid=8
Law Students Legal Advice Program http://www.lslap.bc.ca/main/
Spinal Cord Injury BC Resource Centre http://sci-bc.ca/resource-centre/
SCI BC Info Line: 1 800 689 2477
BC Ministry of Health | CSIL General Information http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=14655A297B1A477F9A8468E6C6EC3436
Employment Standards Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 113 http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/00_96113_01
A Guide to the Employment Standards Act (BC) http://www.labour.gov.bc.ca/esb/esaguide/guide.pdf
Employment Standards Regulation (B.C. Reg. 396/95) http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/396_95
Employment Standards Self-Help Kit http://www.labour.gov.bc.ca/esb/facshts/pdfs/SHK-employer-factsheet.pdf
Complaint Resolution and the B.C. Employment Standards Act Factsheet http://www.labour.gov.bc.ca/esb/facshts/complaint_resolution.htm
Compassionate Care Leave Regulation (B.C. Reg. 281/2006) http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/281_2006
Workers Compensation Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 492 http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/96492_00
Personal Information Protection Act http://www.bclaws.ca/Recon/document/ID/freeside/00_03063_01
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training
Employment Standards Branch http://www.labour.gov.bc.ca/esb/
Employment Standards Fact Sheets http://www.labour.gov.bc.ca/esb/facshts/
Employers’ Advisers Officehttp://www.labour.gov.bc.ca/eao/
BC Human Rights Tribunal
BC Human Rights Tribunal http://www.bchrt.bc.ca
WorkSafeBC: Rights And Responsibilities https://www.worksafebc.com/en/health-safety/create-manage/rights-responsibilities