Balancing employee attendance and employee wellness was part of
the dilemma in the recent case of Vancouver Coastal Health
Authority v. B.C.G.E.U. and others. The employer there
had an attendance and wellness promotion program that affected
employees across a number of bargaining units. As the name
suggests, the program included elements of both attendance
management and wellness promotion. The stages set out in the
program did not apply to employees with disabilities.
The affected unions brought a grievance with respect to certain
aspects of the policy that they argued punished employees who
respected the employer's request that they not report for work
if they were ill.
Arbitrator Vince Ready affirmed that employers have the right to
introduce an attendance management program ("AMP") and to
take corrective measures to address absenteeism issues. He
found, however, that certain aspects of this AMP were punitive
rather than corrective.
In particular, the policy provided for an overtime ban at stages
1 and 2 of the policy for employees who remained above the average
level of paid sick leave, despite a previous review of attendance
expectations and wellness strategies. The policy also
provided for reduced hours at stage 3 of the policy.
Arbitrator Ready agreed that the automatic overtime bans and
reduced hours were punitive rather than corrective, and so could
not be sustained. He agreed, however, that there may some
instances where an employer could reduce overtime or hours on an
individual basis as a corrective measure. The availability of
that measure would depend on the individual circumstances.
What does this mean for employers?
While the unions' grievance was successful, the case
isn't necessarily bad news for employers. In reaching his
decision, the Arbitrator affirmed a number of important
Employers have the right to introduce rules and policies in
workplace relating to attendance, including AMPs
An AMP can include meetings with employees who are deemed to
have excessive absenteeism where they are asked to discuss
attendance and wellness
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Employees already have easy access to medical marijuana, which can create a conflict between an employer’s obligation to ensure a safe workplace and the duty to accommodate. Legislation that will legalize the recreational use of marijuana is expected in Spring 2017. In this session, we will cover myths and facts about marijuana, an employer’s obligation to ensure its employees are unimpaired and fit for work, and what employers should be doing to prepare for the legalization of marijuana.
Managing your employees’ use (and abuse) of drugs and alcohol is a complex issue. Employees already have easy access to medical marijuana, which can create a conflict between an employer’s obligation to ensure a safe workplace and the duty to accommodate.
Legislation that will legalize the recreational use of marijuana is expected in Spring 2017. In this session, we will cover myths and facts about marijuana, an employer’s obligation to ensure its employees are unimpaired and fit for work, and what employers should be doing to prepare for the legalization of marijuana.
In this 3-hour workshop, we will help you learn to navigate all of the attendance related issues, from policy drafting and implementation, accommodation of disability-related absences, and understanding when the employment relationship can be terminated as a result of poor attendance.
The arbitrator's decision covered a number of issues including whether the termination was appropriate and whether the City had breached the grievor's human rights. The following, however, will focus on the privacy issue raised.
In my December 15, 2016 article, Federal Government's Cannabis Report: What does it mean for employers?, I noted the Report's1 suggestion that there was a lack of research to reliably determine when individuals are impaired by cannabis.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).