When to call a lawyer

HR should know when experts are needed
By Brian Kreissl
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 08/05/2010

Relatively few Canadian HR practitioners have formal legal training. Even with a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation, HR professionals often feel ill-equipped to deal with complex legal issues. In fact, the CHRP doesn’t have a legislative knowledge component.

With the expertise and peace of mind a good employment lawyer can bring, it’s hardly surprising many HR practitioners seem to have lawyers on speed dial, despite the fact legal fees can be a significant expense. Fortunately, there are a few things HR professionals can do to help control legal costs.

The first thing an HR practitioner can do is improve her legal knowledge. While an HR person should never replace a qualified employment lawyer, she really shouldn’t have to run to a lawyer every time she has a simple question about employment standards legislation or an employment policy.