What is Severance Pay in Ontario?

Severance pay (often shortened to ‘severance’) is money paid to an employee who has been terminated from their job without cause. Not all workers in Ontario are entitled to severance pay upon termination. The amount of severance pay to which a person is entitled depends on how long the person has worked for the employer, the employment contract, and the circumstances under which they were terminated.

Who Can Receive Severance Pay?

Under the Employment Standards Act (ESA), the law which outlines the minimum rights of workers and the obligations of employers in Ontario, employers must provide an employee who was terminated without cause with severance pay if:

  1. The employer has an annual payroll of $2.5 million or more; AND
  2. The worker has given five or more years of service to the employer.

An employee is not entitled to severance pay if:

  • The employer offered the employee reasonable alternative employment, and the employee refused.
  • The employee is guilty of wilful misconduct or disobedience or wilful neglect of duty that has not been condoned by the employer.
  • The employee refuses to exercise seniority rights to obtain reasonable alternative employment.
  • The employee retires and receive an actuarially unreduced pension benefit upon termination.
  • The employee is employed under an arrangement where they can choose to work or not work when requested to do so.
  • The employee works at a site doing construction, alteration, maintenance or demolition of buildings, structures, roads, sewers, pipes, mains, tunnels, or other works.

The ESA also provides for the framework for the minimum amount of severance an employee must receive if they are entitled to receive it.

How Is Severance Pay Calculated?

Section 58(4) of the ESA states that employees are entitled to a minimum severance that is equal to the employee’s regular wages for a non-overtime work week multiplied by the sum of their years of employment and the completed months of employment divided by 12 (not exceeding 26 weeks).

As an equation:

Employee’s regular wages for a regular work week*(years of employment + (months of employment / 12))

However, the minimum severance to which an employee is entitled can also vary based on the common law.

Under common law, employers must provide employees with reasonable notice of termination without cause. If reasonable notice is not provided, the employee is entitled to salary and benefits in lieu of notice. As explained by an employment severance agreement lawyer, this complicates the minimum entitlement:

“The problem is that the amount of notice to which an employee is entitled is unpredictable. Judge’s ruling on such cases consider a variety of factors and their decisions seem to vary widely. For example, the amount of common law notice awarded to a three year employee at a trial can range between two and twelve months, depending on the circumstances and the judge.”

Read the full post here.

Can Employers Ignore Minimum Severance in an Employment Contract?

Any term in an employment contract that attempts to lock workers out of their minimum entitlements under the ESA is void. An employment contract that sets out severance that is less than the minimum in the ESA is not valid.

Employers and employees can contract out of the common law severance entitlement, but those agreements are closely scrutinized by the courts and may not pass as being valid.

Top 5 Trends For Digital Marketing You Can Never Ignore In 2019

As 2018 reaches an end and another year approaches, digital marketing businesses should likewise adopt another strategy in the way they use to meet the demands for 2019. The digital marketing industry is ceaselessly changing and developing so as to remain current with the technological advancements of the present age.

Similarly, as with numerous fields, the most ideal approach to guarantee future accomplishment in digital marketing is to utilize the upcoming strategies that give the most potential to develop. Accomplishment inside the digital marketing range, which incorporates SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, PPC and significantly more regularly requires a shift in methods. On the off chance that your business is hoping to keep up online relevancy in 2019, here are top five trends for digital marketing you make sure not to ignore.

  1. AI Chatbots

From Alexa and Siri to client benefit spring up windows on sites, AI innovation is proceeding to extend, and these chatbots can possibly change advanced advertising. For one, chatbots enhance client benefit encounters by giving day in and day out client benefit delegates that will welcome clients on a site and speak with them to point them the correct way for what they are searching for. Chatbots can likewise improve promoting procedures by asking buyers questions and assembling data from their answers.

  1. Micro-Moment Marketing

With mobile search proceeding to soar, micro-moment marketing is more vital now than any other time in recent memory. The “micro-moment” is characterized as the minute clients swing to their cell phones to get data on something ASAP. With this interest for quickness, brands should have the capacity to get shoppers’ eyes in a little window of time. Brands can deal with this hunt conduct through a solid Web optimization technique that will make your image increasingly obvious in inquiry, a profitable substance that gives clients the data they require, and a simple to-explore site.

  1. Client Generated Content

In the course of recent years, authenticity has turned out to be one of the best qualities that buyers search for in brands, and extraordinary compared to other routes for brands to demonstrate validness is through client produced content. Client created content is social media posts, blogs, reviews, videos, and more from genuine purchasers of a brand.

  1. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has been around for a long time, yet as opposed to banding together with a commonly recognized name big names, brands are presently moving their concentration to internet-based life influencers that create content that lines up with their image. Influencers via social media platforms, for example, YouTube and Instagram ordinarily have their very own specialty, regardless of whether that be wellness, magnificence, travel, nourishment, and so forth., so when brands cooperate with the privilege influencer, they are achieving that individual’s broad and steadfast fan base. These fans not just have a current enthusiasm for comparative brands, however, they additionally trust what the influencer prescribes.

  1. Video

All through 2018, recordings progressively turned into a prevailing showcasing device using live stream videos on social media, video advertisements, vlogs, and more. Video enables brands to advance their legitimacy and straightforwardness, draw in with customers on a more profound dimension, and show a greater amount of their items and administrations so buyers have a superior thought of what the brand offers.

How Accurate is Hair Testing for Marijuana Use?

The upcoming legalization of cannabis in October has Canadian employers looking for various ways to test for marijuana and cannabis use in the workplace. This has lead to increasing interest in hair testing for marijuana use.

How accurate is hair testing for marijuana use compared to other methods? We’ll examine this question below.

Hair Testing for Marijuana Use: How it Works

Most employers are familiar with urine and saliva tests, which analyze bodily fluids to determine if drugs are present in the test subject’s body. Hair testing, in contrast, flags the presence of drugs in a hair follicle sample. Hair can be used to test for numerous substances, including prescription drugs and cannabis.

THC and other cannabinoids are deposited in hair follicles through the user’s bloodstream, binding to the tissue and cells surrounding the root of the hair. The hair containing the drug peaks above the scalp between 5 and 7 days later.

Unlike cannabinoids in blood, traces of cannabis remain in the follicle long after the person has used the drug, meaning it can be detected weeks or months afterwards. Once THC is present in the hair, there is no way to remove it. However, when the hair is cut off, the new hair that grows in its place will not contain THC unless the person has used within the 5-7-day timeframe.

Accuracy of a Hair Test for Marijuana and Cannabis Use

Hair testing is recognized as being a highly accurate method of testing for drug use. It takes just one picogram per milligram of THC to trigger a positive result in a hair test for marijuana use and requires only 1.5 inches of hair to test (an amount comparable to the tip of a shoelace.) It is said to be 6-10 times more effective than a urine test.

Hair Testing vs. Other Tests for Marijuana and Cannabis Use

  • Compared to urine testing: cannabis is detectable in urine up to 72 hours after use. A hair test can detect cannabis use over a period of months. Since a hair sample can be collected from the test subject directly (whereas a urine sample is given in private), it is impossible to ‘beat’ a hair test by surreptitiously swapping in a ‘clean’ sample from someone else.
  • Compared to blood testing: blood tests can detect cannabis for a maximum of 7 days after use, while hair testing can detect cannabis months after use. Hair tests for marijuana and cannabis use are less invasive to collect than blood tests, which are administered by technicians in laboratory environment.

Ontario Landlords Crying Foul Over Marijuana Use in Their Units

When Ontario’s rules for use recreational marijuana were announced last year, one of the more controversial aspects was where it could be consumed. Unlike some countries overseas, there would be no so-called marijuana cafes here where people could congregate and smoke. Recreational marijuana can only be smoked inside a person’s home and nowhere else. While that seemed like a compromise that some people were willing to accept (albeit reluctantly), some Ontario landlords have strenuously objected.

This group not only wants to ban pot use in their units before it is even legal this July, they also want the right to change existing leases to add the restriction (they have the right to add it to the lease of any unit rented after legalization begins). While one can understand this objection from a cost standpoint (they argue it can be about $5,000 to remove the smoke smell causes by frequent users), there is also the issue that pot fumes will seep into other units, just like cigarette smoke.

The problem for users is that if they cannot smoke at home, what can they do? It makes marijuana use illegal once again, which is one of the very things the law change was supposed to eliminate. Also, do landlords even have the right to ban what will be a legal substance for those 19 and over?

Anyone who has had dealings with the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board knows that it already functions less than optimally. If landlords try to force this upon tenants and attempt to evict those that do not comply, it could lead to many more cases at an entity that can hardly keep up as it is.

One good compromise would be common sense, just like not constantly cooking meals that have a harsh smell or playing music into the late hours of the evening. We will find out in the months to come.

 

Ways You Can Improve Your Small Business Website

In the early days of the internet, a few businesses decided to take advantage of this promising new communication forum by creating their own pages. These often had some contact information, a photo or two, and the hours of operation, but little else. However, as the internet quickly became a more integral part of everyone’s life, companies of all sizes realized just how incredibly important it is to have a robust internet presence.

Nowadays, it is pretty much inconceivable to have a business without a website. However, a lot of small business people could be doing a better job of using their sites to find and retain customers. Read the following suggestions and see if they could help make your site the most effective it can be:

Blogging

No matter what you business does, start up a blog. You don’t have to put up something new several times a week, but adding fresh content regularly is important. It not only keeps visitors informed, but also helps to ensure that your site builds its search engine rankings. Still need convincing? Read this.

Contact Information

This is common to every site, right? Sure, most all sites have a Contact Us page, but some lack basic information like the company name or they contain careless errors (double and triple check this section). It is also wise to have your phone number visible at the top of every page. People are very impatient online; they want the information right there in front of them. Make sure that the link buttons (like Contact Us) are easy to spot and have the correct URL.

Videos

People watch a staggering amount of internet video each year, and much of it on their mobile devices. Having videos on your site is not only a good way to show off your products and location, but also to connect. Having your managers and staff appearing on camera and discussing the advantages of your service helps to make a connection with the viewer. You don’t need to hire a video production company for these, but make more of an effort than just shooting on some raw footage on your phone. Not doing a video properly can have a negative effect.

 

Money Saving Tips for Small Business

Small business owners know all about working long hours and having to make their way in an often-crowded market. The ones that thrive use all manner of strategies to stand out, lure in new customers, and stay ahead of the competition. Some of these involve innovation, extensive planning, and careful timing. However, one of the main assets of any small business is shrewd financial sense. Very few have an unlimited source of capital, so what are the best ways to not only use the cash available, but also generate more?

Here are some common ways that a small business can save money:

Utility Costs

Use a programmable thermostat to turn down the heat/air conditioning during off-hours. Inspect the property for gaps in windows, doorways, and cracks that can be causing hot/cool air to escape. Also, think about whether you really need to have your sign and equipment on after a certain point in the evening.

Paper Usage

With digital storage, there is no need to print so many things. Implement optional e-mailing of customer receipts, and when you do have to print, always do it double-sided.

Consider Used Equipment

If you are running a cupcake store in a small town, you don’t really need new, top of the line equipment every few years. However, many large businesses insist upon this, even if they don’t really need it either. As a result, if you hunt around, major bargains are available when it comes to things like used computers, cash registers, printers, etc.

Take Full Advantage of Social Media

Television advertising is rarely within the budget of small businesses nowadays, and newspapers are a dying breed. However, the internet offers many cost-effective (read: free) ways to attract new customers and remind previous ones that you would love to have them back.

Create an active presence on big social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also engage the services of a digital marketing company specializing in this sort of promotion (many offer small packages for companies that don’t have a lot of money set aside for advertising).

Repealing Net Neutrality and Its Possible Effects on Small Businesses

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has made it clear that he wants to eliminate Net Neutrality, and the vote is scheduled for later today. In short, if it passes, the Title II classification of internet providers would cease. That would remove any legal barriers the FCC has for stopping internet providers from throttling a person’s service, blocking users from certain websites, and implementing paid “fast lanes.” This could also lead to new limitations on free speech. All of these should be of concern to the average American.

It is clear that corporate megaliths like Comcast will benefit from the abolition of net neutrality, but how will small business people fare under these changes?

Online Business

If a good portion of your business takes place online, this could definitely impact your bottom line. Consumers like to save money, but they also don’t like to wait. If a site becomes noticeably slower and more cumbersome to navigate, people will be less inclined to use it.

Theoretically, if your business is deemed to be in competition with say, AT & T, there would be nothing to stop that company from slowing down their subscribers’ access to your website. In addition to declining sales, fewer visitors per day will also cause your site’s search ranking to sink, making it less likely to attract new traffic. Also, if you host promotional videos, slower speed will cause them to freeze and buffer, leading to fewer views and people exiting prematurely.

Extra Cost

Of course, should these changes occur, your business would likely have the option to pay the provider a higher fee and not face these speed limitations. But who wants to pay extra for their internet, particularly when it seems likely that said fees will regularly increase? It’s essentially the equivalent of paying protection money to the mob and being subject to their whims.

It is possible that such a situation will motivate start-up companies to offer cheaper packages aimed at the small business person. Alas, everything about this bill seems like a handout to the big boys, so it is tough to say whether such upstarts could even get enough of a foothold to make a go of it.

 

JHSC Certification In Ontario

pshsaWhat is PSHSA? PSHSA stands for Public Services Health and Safety Association located at the country of Canada. The PSHSA was founded by the Ontario Ministry of Labour. They also work with Ontario’s Public and Broader Public Sector employers and employees. They provide resources, consulting and training to reduce possibilities dangers at workplace and avoid occupational injuries and illnesses. The vision and mission of the Public Services Health and Safety Association focused on the safety and health of each worker. To create a safer environment in their workplace. This will be achieving by collaboration, innovation and knowledge transfer.

To be a good leader in health and safety you must be actively vision everything, can change for the best, take risks if you have to and be creative or resourceful. PSHSA also engaged, associating and sharing concepts to get other perspectives that will improve the capacity of success. The Public Services Health and Safety Association takes their responsibilities seriously. They are committed in everything they do and they also believe in recognizing, transparency and celebrating endeavors. They also valued differences and diversity because they have earned the trust and confidence of the stakeholders. Lastly, the Public Services Health and Safety Association always delivered high results in terms of the standards and goals they need to meet. They achieved this goal because of their good traits and attitudes. That is being in a constant improvement, persistence, proficient and professionalism.

The PSHSA can be found across Ontario. They can provide trainings that sooner or later can benefit your workplace. Upon completion of all the training, the Part 1 Part 2 and refresher training, the JHSC certification in Ontario will be given to all individuals who participated. Without the certification, there will be no proof of completion and you cannot perform your duties right. For more info regarding the training that the PSHSA provide, you can visit this link pshsa.ca.

Changing For The Better

chaI’m constantly looking to better our community and society by implementing changes through policy or outreach. That’s why I’m extremely focused on creating change surrounding the topic of safety and health. We need to provide change and that change must be for the better.

We need to take control of the budget and be able to implement more health and safety especially in the workplace. There can be many accidents that can be prevented primarily due to more training and less negligence on the part of the employer. If we push forward to help budget around these training programs and safety instructions, we can definitely reduce the number of accidents that happen.

Support me in my policies for change and to help our community grow together.