News briefs

Air Canada plans to outsource HR • Canada, Mexico, U.S. co-operate to improve workplace H&S • Subsidies for summer hiring • Canadian IT offshoring to take off: report • Ontario reviews occupational exposure limits • Depression high among teachers • Health-care workers turn to EAPs
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 06/28/2004

Air Canada plans to outsource HR


— Air Canada has signed a non-binding letter of intent with Exult Inc. The contract being negotiated will call for Exult to assume responsibility for managing core administrative and transactional HR services for Air Canada’s 30,000 employees and to provide technology support related to those functions. The agreement would likely be for seven years. The troubled airline said it did not want to discuss details until a final deal is signed but in a statement released by Exult, Sue Welscheid, vice-president of people for Air Canada said: “This decision aligns with Air Canada’s objectives to both reduce costs and to utilize proven technology to e-enable our workforce.”

Canada, Mexico, U.S. co-operate to improve workplace H&S


— Canada has teamed up with the United States and Mexico to launch a new health and safety website. The site ( is designed to promote public involvement and education and to encourage the exchange of best practices on programs, projects and activities focusing on occupational health and safety issues in the three countries. “Collaborative projects such as this one encourage the ongoing exchange of information and the sharing of good practices that promote improved working conditions and living standards,” said Claudette Bradshaw, the federal Minister of Labour.

Subsidies for summer hiring


— Ontario employers hiring summer students may be eligible for a $2-per-hour wage subsidy for up to 16 weeks. The wage subsidy is available for jobs at businesses and farms, as well as non-profit and other community organizations. The wage support can last 16 weeks or until Sept. 30. The province said it will help more than 57,000 young people find jobs or start their own businesses through the Ontario Summer Jobs program. The program also provides students with up to $3,000 to help them start up and run their own summer businesses.

Canadian IT offshoring to take off: report


— Offshore outsourcing is about to take off, with more IT work being sent to low-cost countries like India, China, Russia and other emerging economies, according to a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers. “Canada faces the globalization of knowledge work on an unprecedented scale. Tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of Canadian IT jobs — as well as knowledge-based functions in many other industries — will move offshore over the next decade,” said study author David Ticoll. But the study also found that Canada could potentially attract other IT jobs from the United States and Europe. At least 75,000 of Canada’s current 550,000 IT jobs could migrate offshore by 2010, but with the right actions, IT jobs could increase by 165,000.

Ontario reviews occupational exposure limits


— To reduce occupational illness and lower workplace premiums for employers, Ontario is updating workplace exposure limits for more than 700 chemicals and pledged to make the updates a regular occurrence. Occupational exposure limits restrict the amount and duration of workers’ exposure to hazardous workplace substances such as asbestos, benzene, lead and silica.

Depression high among teachers


— Stress-related long-term disability claims are a third higher among Ontario teachers than in other professions, research by Canada’s Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health shows. A decade of government-inspired fighting over education has created a toxic workplace that has seen long-term disability claims double since 1993, said roundtable founder Bill Wilkerson.

Health-care workers turn to EAPs


— In addition to teachers, health-care workers are burning out. National research by EAP-provider WarrenShepell shows more health workers are accessing employee assistance plans due to stress over working conditions, job insecurity and workplace violence. In 2000 the EAP utilization rate was 3.96 per cent, growing to 6.59 per cent in 2003.

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