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
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about your specific circumstances.
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This introductory level webinar will provide those new to human resources with an overview of the duty to accommodate, particularly with respect to disabilities, including when the duty arises and what it requires of employers, employees, and unions. We will also outline when the duty to accommodate ends, what it means to reach undue hardship, and what kind of requests need not be accommodated by employers.
This introductory level seminar will provide those new to human resources with an overview of the duty to accommodate, particularly with respect to disabilities, including when the duty arises and what it requires of employers, employees, and unions. We will also outline when the duty to accommodate ends, what it means to reach undue hardship, and what kind of requests need not be accommodated by employers.
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