Establishing Workplace Policies and Guidelines
A manual outlining workplace policies and guidelines is an excellent way for employers to clearly communicate the rules and expectations for employees. Here are some topics you might want to consider for your Employee Policies and Procedures Manual.
|Employment Standard||Suggested Guidelines|
An employee must be able to take a continuous 30-minute meal break after every five hours of work. The employer does not have to pay the employee for this break unless the employee is required to stay on-site during this period.
|Describe in detail the length and number of breaks and whether these breaks will be paid or unpaid.|
|Hours of Work
Unless a written agreement is completed, the maximum number of hours and employee can be required to work is eight hours per day or 48 hours per week. The maximum number of hours an employee can work with a written agreement is 60 hours per week.
|Establish a set schedule for each employee to help define expectations regarding hours of work and help prevent loss of productivity Schedules should be posted on a set day, so that starting and finishing times are clear.|
Overtime pay is required after an employee has worked more than 44 hours in a week, unless a written agreement is completed. Alternatively, lieu time can be paid instead of overtime pay. Overtime pay is one-and-one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay.
|Provide details of opportunities for overtime and the rate of pay or use of lieu time (time off instead of pay).|
An employee is entitled to two weeks of vacation with pay each year of employment. Vacation pay is equal to four per cent of the gross wages for the year.
|Provide detail regarding length of vacation, as it relates to years of service. It is a good idea to create and have employees submit a signed Request for Vacation Form.|
There are 12 statutory holidays in Canada. Most employees qualify for paid statutory holidays, including full-time, part-time, permanent and contract workers. Employees must agree in writing to work on a public holiday and must be paid double-time-and-a-half their regular rate or receive a substitute holiday with pay.
|Sick Leave, Absences and Lateness
By law, employees are allowed to take 10 unpaid emergency days per year without being penalized.
|When establishing a policy, the number of paid sick days and the procedure for reporting lateness or absenteeism should be clear.|
The standard probationary period is three months. Within this time frame, the employer has the right to terminate employment at any time without cause or notice.
|An employer may wish to complete a performance review or appraisal at the end of the probationary period.|
|Equal Pay for Equal Work
Men and women doing the same job must be paid the same rate. If employees have not been paid equally, this must be remedied. An employee’s pay cannot be reduced to achieve this outcome.
Source: Human Resources Development Canada and the Centre for Skills Development and Training)