Durham - Chatham-Kent: 03.24.2021 *Virtual* Policies in the Workplace - Breaking the Mold of Negativity Around Rules

Date and Time

Starts:03/24/2021 7:55 AM

Ends:03/24/2021 10:00 AM

Event Type: Webcast

2 Hours Hour(s)





Additional Information

Event Sponsor

Durham & Chatham-Kent Chapters Co-Hosting: 03.24.2021 Policies in the Workplace - Breaking the Mold of Negativity Around Rules 

In this two speaker session, we will first hear from Labour & Employment Lawyer Christine Ashton on the changes in employment law during and post pandemic. Further to the pandemic, there have been substantial changes to employment laws and new issues in employment laws have arisen. Over the last several months, HR professionals have had to tackle these complex pandemic related HR issues and in review have often found that their current HR policies and procedures have fallen short of providing clear guidance. In review of what we have learned and the changes to the laws, Christine Ashton will address updating HR policies and procedures now, in hindsight of the pandemic. This will be immediately followed by a session lead by Lewis Eisen where he will explain how we can make updates to our policies and rules more effective. Often organizations claim to hold "respect for others" as a core value, but when you look at their rules documents, the story is different. Whether they call them "policies," "terms and conditions," or simply “guidelines," many of these rules read like angry parents scolding naughty children. The reality is that the policy writers wanted to sound strict rather than disrespectful; however, they focussed solely on the content and paid no attention to the tone of voice. To succeed, internal policies need buy-in from everyone involved. Adults bristle at disrespectfully worded statements, making compliance an uphill road. Ultimately, the tension created by poorly drafted policies has a palpable impact on employee morale. In this eye-opening session, Lewis shows you how you can make rules documents more effective.

Participants will learn:

• To review the changes to employment laws triggered by the pandemic 

• To review HR policies and procedures to be updated in light of the pandemic 

• To review HR policies and procedures to be created in light of the pandemic 

• To raise awareness of the fact that policies have a tone of voice 

• To provoke thought around the deliberate re-adjustment of that tone 

• To learn some of the impacts of poorly worded policies on the employee experience.


7:55 am Welcome and Introductions 

8:00 am Speaker Presentation 1 

9:00 am Speaker Presentation 2 

10:00 am Adjournment

During registration, please consider the donation option. Donated funds collected through this event registration will be equally divided between Indspire and Black Youth Helpline, preferred charities identified by HRPA members in a recent survey.

Speaker bio(s)
Christine Ashton, Partner

Christine’s practice is divided between labour and employment law and tax litigation. Christine is dedicated to providing her clients with creative and effective solutions, in a responsive manner. In regards to her labour and employment law practice, Christine represents unionized and non-unionized employers in all aspects of labour and employment law. Christine is thoroughly versed in issues surrounding the employment relationship from hiring, discipline, compensation, performance management, workplace health and safety, human rights, through to termination. In regards to her unionized clients, Christine has acted as the lead negotiator in collective bargaining and has effectively represented employers in regards to grievances and arbitrations. Christine is frequently engaged in the preparation of employment contracts, manuals, and policies, conducting workplace investigations, and providing client training workshops. Prior to joining Wilson Vukelich, Christine articled with the Ontario Ministry of Labour. Christine also provides advice and advocacy to executives and professionals on employment matters. In regards to her tax litigation practice, Christine represents individuals and corporations in their disputes with the Canada Revenue Agency. Christine works with accountants and our firm's team of tax lawyers to successfully represent clients at the objection stage, at the appeal stage before the Tax Court of Canada, on applications for judicial review before the Federal Court, on rectification applications, for remission orders, and in regards to requests for taxpayer relief. Christine is particularly focused on positively resolving business related tax disputes, such as the improper assessment of independent contractors as employees, the denial of valid business expense claims, shareholder benefit assessments, and director assessments.


Lewis S Eisen, B.A., J.D., C.I.P. is the author of the international bestseller How to Write Rules that People Want to Follow: A Guide to Writing Respectful Policies and Directives. He has practised law, been a technology consultant, and been a policy writer in the Government of Canada. His approach to drafting rules that don’t sound bossy has been adopted by groups at organizations across the US, Canada, and the UK.