When you start your first business, there are a lot of skills you pick up pretty quickly like how to find funding, manage your time, or hire your first employee. But there are also the lesser-known skills you need to acquire like, say, learning about legislative compliance.
This article covers the ins and outs of employment law, and how to make sure your business is following the guidelines properly.
What is legislative compliance?
Legislative compliance might sound like an office boogeyman, but it’s really just a fancy term for a simple concept: making sure your business is adhering to the rules set out by the government when you’re dealing with your employees. Even shorter? Doing HR right, according to the law.
Employment law covers a lot of ground: rates of pay, hours of work and overtime, vacations, public holidays, leaves of absence, workplace safety, and human rights obligations, to name a few. Many of these aspects can be covered in a well-written employment contract.
Every province in Canada has their own version of these regulations that vary slightly. In Ontario, most employment rules are housed in one big law called the Employment Standards Act, 2000. If you’re outside of Ontario, you can find your province’s set of regulations below:
If you’re in a federally regulated business such as a bank or airline, the main law that governs your industry is the Canada Labour Code.
Why is regulatory compliance important?
Your staff has rights to a fair, safe and equitable workplace. Keeping up-to-date with, and ensuring your company is following employment standards “makes them feel safer and more satisfied,” adds Ashton Sauer, one of Ladder HR’s in-house legislative compliance specialists. “And your business attracts and retains top talent!”
It also protects you, as a people-leader, from liability. “Doing things right saves you time and money. It’s proactive instead of reactive.”
How to ensure regulatory compliance at your company
So how do you make sure you remain compliant across all the regulations, even while your business (and the laws themselves) change?
First, don’t panic. Then, get started with our checklist Compliance checklist. We’ve compiled this list for you to begin crossing off the big ticket items. Things like creating an employee handbook, code of conduct, and health and safety policies. How you should track employee status changes, vacation and work hours. Keeping your retirement policy up to snuff.
Legislative compliance isn’t something you want to put on the backburner. As your business grows and employee relations become complex, it’s important to make sure you’re doing things right. But legislative compliance doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Ladder HR offers services to help you every step of the way. “Lawyers and lawsuits are expensive. Following legislation isn't,” concludes Sauer.