Ont.’s Bill 138 passes second reading
Toronto — Bill 138, the Ontario legislation that would regulate members of the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) in a manner similar to accountants, has passed second reading. For more information, including the full text from Hansard of the debate, see article #9656.
Pension regulation changes announced
Ottawa — The federal government has released final amendments to Pension and Benefits Standards Regulations, 1985, that will come into force on April 1, 2011. The amendments allow plan sponsors to use letters of credit in lieu of making solvency payments; require plan sponsors to fully fund benefits on plan termination; void amendments to plans that reduce the solvency ratio below 0.85; and permit sponsors, members and retirees of a distressed pension plan to negotiate funding arrangements to facilitate a restructuring.
N.B. pension task force seeks input
Fredericton — New Brunswick is seeking input into regulations and rules protecting private pensions in the province. Organizations and members of the public are invited to share their views with a task force that will examine rules protecting employees and pensioners, ensuring long-term sustainability of pension promises made to workers are honoured and protected, and reviewing the structure to protect plans to ensure it is as effective as possible. For more information, visit www.gnb.ca/justice.
CFOs struggle with time management
Toronto — Nearly one-third (32 per cent) of more than 270 chief financial officers surveyed said time management due to competing priorities is their biggest work challenge, according to a survey by Robert Half Management. Keeping up with technology (24 per cent) and achieving work-life balance (19 per cent) are other common challenges. “As projects that were once deferred during the downturn are revitalized and plans for growth emerge, senior executives are faced with the difficulty of allocating time, technology, personnel and resources to these initiatives,” said David King, Canadian president of Robert Half.
personal files on work computer private: Court
Toronto — The Ontario Court of Appeal has established boundaries when it comes to privacy for employees’ online activities, even if they are performed on computers owned by the employer. Richard Cole, a teacher in Sudbury, Ont., was charged with possessing child pornography after explicit images were found on his work computer. A computer technician found the images and turned the laptop over to police. The Ontario Court of Justice originally said the evidence should be excluded because police obtained it without a warrant and infringed on Cole’s expectation of privacy. However, the decision was overturned by the Ontario Superior Court, which brought the case before the Court of Appeal. That court agreed Cole’s charter rights were violated by the police but the image files were acceptable as evidence because the technician’s search was part of normal maintenance and not beyond reasonable expectations of privacy for the laptop.