Reader feedback on topical issues

Flex work, medical marijuana, executive compensation prompt online commentary
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 08/30/2018

We get a lot of reader responses to our online content — whether it’s news posts, blogs from our regular columnists or articles from the magazine. We love to hear from people “in the know” to get their take on the latest trends and issues facing human resources.

Here’s a sampling of commentary we’ve had recently:

Re: Can disconnecting from work add to stress and anxiety?

“I totally agree that knowing what is going on while away on vacation can actually make the holiday more relaxing. I just returned from a vacation overseas and was happy to answer a few quick emails and then get back to working on my tan. As well, once I got more into vacation mode, I appreciated being CCed on some solutions that employees were able to receive from my colleague in my absence. Personally, I would not be able to totally unplug, and if my work was stressful enough to ruin my vacation then perhaps I would look for alternative employment.” — Heather Shaw

Re: Top 5 reasons you should let employees work from home

“1. Show me a work-at-home parent with kids and I’ll show you a working environment where 1,000 domestic interruptions and distractions are common.

2. Depending on how the work is allocated or production is measured, time spent working will lessen and production will diminish. With time, the imperceptible missing inches are sure to become yards lost.

3. Justified entitlement (your perception of working longer and harder than you really are). It not only invites taking time for personal hair appointments, oil changes, grocery shopping, or picking up kids... that in turn not only creates cramming to meet deadlines, it threatens to create poor morale and bad blood.

4. Creativity spawns from interaction with others. Skype meetings don’t generate electricity, stimulate the mind or bond relationships like being in the same room with others.

5. The work-from-home model fosters a force of nameless and faceless workers who, with time, are finding face-to-face meetings an inconvenience and downright frightening. Since we already prefer emails and texts to making voice calls, do we really want to eliminate the last bastion of human working interaction?” — Guy Parent

Re: Why Canadian insurers are wary of covering medical marijuana

“Part of the issue with cannabis is the lack of knowledge in both the people in charge and the general public. So-called ‘experts’ in this article are referencing prescriptions for cannabis but doctors provide authorization, not scripts. Individuals decide which company, product and dosage they will purchase. Calling it marijuana and pot is also inappropriate.

People and companies in this field should ensure all communication with the public is accurate and professional. Educate consumers on medical research versus marketing materials, and why some people claim there is evidence and others say there isn’t.

It all depends on perspective on the standards and rigour involved in the current library of clinical trials.” — Anonymous

 Re: More than half of HR managers have seen someone demoted: Survey

“I have seen individuals demoted or even fired from management positions mainly for performance or incompetency. As an HR manager, I feel this is due to a lack of training or preparation for a management position. In most cases, we set people up to fail.

I served almost 30 years in the military. With each new rank you were promoted to, you were only acting in that rank until you completed special courses including leadership courses and management. If you didn’t pass the courses, you went back to your old position until you were ready to assume your new responsibility.

I think organizations should take a page out of the military’s book. Fewer people will be put into positions that they are not ready for.” — Dave McLaughlin

Re: Quebec won’t introduce tip-sharing mechanism sought by restaurant owners

“Why do restaurant workers get paid less than minimum wage? Because they get tips, silly. Why do unionized workers get paid these outrageous salaries and pensions? Because they are unionized, silly.

So you want to share tips, do you? I make the sale, I get the commission. The restaurant is a business. It does not share its profits with employees. Just as the employees are not responsible for poor management.

So tell you what: Make minimum wage $20 an hour. If the restaurant can’t make it, then close.

The only way restaurants make a profit today is off the backs of slave labour. What is slave labour? Someone who does not get paid a living wage, yet is expected to assume the expenses of going to work. You know... like eating, having a place to sleep, transportation to and from work, to name a few. Hey, the employer is not responsible for that, right?” — Norman Birman

Re: Pre-access drug and alcohol testing rejected in Ontario

“I am both amused and disgusted by the massively over-invasive and overly sensitive safety policies of most oil companies. They talk about drugs and alcohol but nothing of supervision, and the 14-hour days for weeks on end. They wonder why things happen while they sit at a desk or in a warm truck while workers toil in -35 C at 3 a.m.

Alcohol is the least of the oilpatch’s worries. Companies are so short-staffed when it booms that barely-trained people are operating dangerous equipment or working way too long. It is usually only when employees start refusing work that things get safer.

They need to train people for their job, not safety. Companies have to hold on to horribly inept workers because they have no one to replace them. Everyone has to take very redundant safety courses to just get in the gate, so pecking about little policies is just not going to have much impact.” — Anonymous

Re: Review of Hydro One pay to look at raises for board of directors: Wynne

“In 1998, Ontario Hydro’s pension fund was estimated at $1 trillion. It could not be used for operation and maintenance costs. It could not be used for debt retirement. The only way to get it was to retire with as huge a salary as possible. Ergo, everyone got huge wage increases. The retirement bucks maximum is 70 per cent of your best three years. CEO salaries went from $80,000 in the mid-1990s to a peak of $12 million in the early 2000s. However, ratepayers are funding salaries until retirement. Moral? Ethical? You figure it out — especially if you pay a hydro bill.” — Anonymous

If you’d like to have your say, visit and click “Add Comment” at the end of the article or blog.

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