On the heels of a major shakeup at the Manitoba Human Resources Council, the provincial agency that regulates human resources across the province, some say it’s time to re-examine the way it works.
The province announced Monday that it will no longer use the words “honor health” and “honour employment” in the workplace and the workplace policies, including employment protections, are to be changed.
“We think that the word honor employment is inappropriate,” said Kevin Fong, executive director of the Manitoba Employers’ Association, which represents companies in the province.
“It’s not appropriate to have those words used in the policy.
The word honour employment is appropriate, and we will continue to use that word.”
It’s not clear if other provinces, including Ontario, Quebec and Alberta, will follow suit.
It’s unclear how much the change will cost employers or how long it will take to take effect.
Manitoba has about 1,400 employees across the country.
The agency regulates how employers treat people based on their race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age, age of marriage and family status.
In an emailed statement, the province said the policy change is expected to take affect Jan. 1.
“The Honour Employment Policy was adopted in January 2017 to ensure that employers do not discriminate against their employees on the basis of their race or ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation in the employment relationship, and to ensure the best interests of their employees are protected,” the statement said.
“This policy has been widely adopted by employers in Manitoba.
It has been implemented in more than 20 provincial jurisdictions across Canada.”
The changes came after the federal government introduced a number of workplace protections that were based on a broad interpretation of the term “honors employment.”
The federal legislation included the following changes: The federal government’s Employment Insurance plan must include at least one section that includes an honourable employer’s policy in order to qualify for an EI benefit.
The federal Employment Insurance program is now governed by federal legislation that sets out rules for the designation of honourable employers, which can include the following: An employer must provide a workplace policy that explicitly refers to honourable employment.
Employers must have at least four employees who are eligible for EI benefits based on the terms of their honourable employments.
Employer must have an employment agreement that specifically references honourable employee status.
An employer that provides employment benefits to honourably employed workers must be recognized by the Human Resources Act and must also have a policy that specifically refers to this status.
For employers with more than one employee, they must also provide a policy specifically referring to the honourable status of that employee.
Employing on behalf of another person must be a condition for an employee to receive EI.
The Employment Insurance benefit for an honourably employé includes an allowance of EI for the period of the employee’s employment.
An employee must be eligible for a maximum of $1,300 in EI per week for a minimum of three weeks in the year.
In order to receive the allowance, an employee must work at least 20 hours per week, but an employer can choose to have the employee work on behalf a third party.
In 2018, a person who was a honourable person but was unable to work due to disability or other reasons was required to complete a work placement program, a process that could be done by an employer, the federal and provincial governments said.
The employment insurance benefits were expanded to include certain non-employee employees in 2017.
Fong said he believes the federal legislation will take a significant hit on employers who have fewer workers.
“I don’t think employers will be as successful with that change,” he said.
If Manitoba’s HR department is looking to change its policies to be more inclusive, it’s important to understand the broader context, said Fong.
“If it’s a company that is doing an HR function, and they’re using the term honor employment, they need to be aware of the broader meaning of honour employment,” he explained.
“They need to understand that the federal laws that were passed, they’re in fact in relation to an employer that is also using honourable terms and their policies.”
The Manitoba Human Rights Commission is not the only body that’s looking at the use of the word honour in the job title.
In September, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled that an Alberta-based company was in violation of the federal Human Rights Act when it employed a non-white employee with the title of a white person.
The employer also failed to provide the required employment insurance benefit.
“When a company has a policy on honourable employees, they should be required to make that policy specifically reference to this,” Fong told CBC News.
“What that means is they should have an HR department that can take on the HR department and make sure that it doesn’t use that term.”
The court ruled that it