What HR Professionals in Canada Need to Know

Working in HR, your inboxes and dropbox folders are filled with policies, employment law documents, and other legal files you need to be on top of to, you know, stay legally compliant. And it can be easy to lose sight of everything you need to know.


Don’t worry—we’ve got you. We’ve listed four items that HR professionals in Canada should keep in mind when creating inclusive environments and building better leaders within their organizations:

1. Legalization of marijuana in 2018

Cigarette smoke breaks or celebratory beers in the kitchen – make some room. There’s a new legal drug in town. On July 1, 2018 recreational marijuana will be legalized in Canada and HR teams are a little concerned because their existing drug policies don’t address the new law.


Before you put together your policy, consider asking yourself these questions:

  • Do I fully understand what’s legal and what’s not with the use of marijuana?
  • Are we currently accommodating our employees who are medical marijuana users?
  • Will medical marijuana be covered in our benefits plan?
  • How will we define recreational marijuana use at work?


And talk to your people!


Include them in the conversation as they may have different perspectives that you haven’t considered yet. It won’t do your organization any good if your policy is put together out of reactiveness rather than pro-activeness. This is an opportunity to be a leader in the conversation.

2. The Canadian Job Grant

Every year, an increasing amount of executives and business leaders are retiring and there’s a skills gap between the next generation that’s stepping up and the leaders that are stepping down.


Back in 2014, the Canadian government introduced the Canadian Job Grant so businesses could apply and get up to 2/3 of training costs covered for the people they’re developing to move up in their careers. Pretty cool! There are requirements about the grant that you can check out here.


If you’re looking for management training for your new managers, we designed The Manager Start Line to level up your people managers to the next step of their leadership…and our clients that used Granted helped get their costs covered through similar training grants.

3. The global skills visa program for hiring specialized foreign talent

On June 12, the Canadian government introduced its global skills visa program.


What do you need to know about it?


Rather than waiting months for the developer you hired overseas to get approved to work for your organization, the process is getting accelerated and should take two weeks (which the government is expecting to meet 80% of the time). This means your international recruiting and relocation efforts may benefit from a refresh to ensure you are getting the best talent from outside our borders too.

4. Gender identity in the workplace

In BC, a recently born baby’s birth certificate has a “U” under gender instead of M or F. While public opinion and legal protocols are still forming, HR leaders can get to work now in creating an open and inclusive work environment for all gender identities.


Take a second and ask yourself:

  • Is there any job-related reason to know an employee’s gender at work?
  • Are there events, systems, or structures in place that divide people into male and female categories? (tip: first look at your bathrooms…)


If you’re stuck on where to start, our friends at LearnKit put together an LGBT Workplace e-learning training course and certification on LGBT history and language that’s focused on creating inclusivity in the workplace. We highly recommend.


Are there any others that you would add to the list? We’d love to hear from you.

Meet Matt. He is bold. He is always up for the adventure. He is your biggest fan.

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