Resources to guide HR policy, practice (HR Manager's Bookshelf)

Managing Human Rights at Work • Human Rights at Work • Disability and Human Rights in the Workplace • Canada Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act: Quick Reference • Your Payroll Privacy Questions Answered • Privacy in the Workplace • Management of Occupational Health and Safety • Public Health in the Workplace • Relocation 101: Focus on the Greater Toronto Area • A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice •

Current, quick reference resources are essential to HR generalists and specialists, given the broad range of issues within their scope of responsibility. Here are some recent publications that provide guidance on fundamental areas of HR policy and practice: human rights, health and safety, privacy and general HR management.

Managing Human Rights at Work
By Stephen Hammond,
147 pages, Harassment Solutions Inc. (2004),
ISBN 0-9734954-0-5.
Available from

Risks are numerous in today’s complex landscape of human rights in the workplace. Vancouver-based consultant and lawyer Stephen Hammond presents 101 practical tips to prevent human rights disasters, grouped into the following themes:

•The word game — adapt terminology, correct mistakes, keep up with changing language and look for appropriate language.

•Are you accommodating? Recognize direct and indirect discrimination, avoid “majority-rules” thinking; understand undue hardship, train supervisors and employees about accommodation.

•Harassment headaches — focus on impact, not intent; ensure consequences for false accusers, be harassment-free but not fun-free.

•Treating “different” people differently — acknowledge and accept stereotypes, challenge them, don’t act on them.

•Inclusiveness, not affirmative action — reach out to attract a variety of employees; reflecting your community is great for business.

•Management needs to know — discuss human rights regularly, encourage real dialogue, create an environment where people speak up.

•Changing with the times — deal with harassment even from the top; staying silent doesn’t help the offender; encourage strong and courageous stands.

•Men at work — decide what is respectful, don’t allow “If I had to put up with it, so do you”; work with open ears and a closed mouth, and hold others accountable.

Human Rights at Work
124 pages, 2004. ISBN 0-7794-5662-9.
Available from HRPAO,
(416) 923-2324, 1-800-387-1311

Published by the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario, in partnership with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, this guidebook starts with a review of relevant legislation, including Ontario’s Human Rights Code, Employment Standards Act, labour laws and legislation covering health and safety, workers’ compensation and disabilities. There’s a full overview of procedures and requirements related to human rights complaints.

Definitions and descriptions are provided for discrimination, harassment and all protected grounds within the code. Separate chapters outline implications for designing a job, hiring, and dealing with issues and situations on the job, such as employee benefits, promotion, drug and alcohol testing and confidentiality.

Disability and Human Rights in the Workplace
By Adelyn Bowland,
150 pages, Thomson Carswell (2004).
ISBN 0-459-28293-X.
Available from (416) 609-3800,

Across the country, disability-related complaints account for the largest number of human rights complaints (as high as 65 per cent in Ontario). This report surveys human rights laws and policies at both provincial and federal levels, along with practical advice to employers and references to numerous legal decisions to illustrate real world situations and challenges. The book is organized in eight chapters: reasonable accommodation and undue hardship; disability defined; duty of employees, employers and unions; medical issues; suitable alternative employment; absence from work; reasonable accommodation and substance abuse; and discharge.

Appendices contain the names of human rights statutes along with human rights commissions’ policies on disability and publications on the subject.

Canada Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act: Quick Reference (2005 edition)
By Jamie Knight, Sharon Chilcott and Melanie McNaught, 114 pages,
Thomson Carswell (2005).
ISBN 0-459-28317-0.
Available from (416) 609-3800,

This quick reference guide explains employer requirements under the Canada Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which came into effect Jan. 1, 2004. PIPEDA applies to organizations that collect, use or disclose personal information within a province or territory unless that province or territory has passed a law similar to the provisions of this act. This includes every jurisdiction in Canada, except British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec. The authors have described the overall requirements of PIPEDA, plus its real and potential impact in three key sectors: health care, education and information technology.

The book addresses threats to privacy caused by new ways in which information is collected and used. It’s intended to help readers be prepared by better understanding this important new legislation.

Your Payroll Privacy Questions Answered
By Murray Long, 83 pages, Canadian Payroll Association (2005).
ISBN 0-9736167-2-5.
Available from
(416) 487-3380, 1-800-387-4693, ext. 111,

Although payroll handling has always required a high level of confidentiality, PIPEDA and provincial privacy laws bring new implications. This book addresses issues of employee privacy, consent, access to files, file retention, disclosing data to third parties, medical data, safeguards, oversight and redress.

Privacy in the Workplace
By Ian J. Turnbull with contributions from Shari Simpson Campbell, Donald F. Harris and Brian Kimball
374 pages, CCH Canada (2004).
ISBN 155367268-2.
Available from (800) 268-4522,

Subtitled “The Employment Perspective,” this practical guide for managers and administrators of Canadian organizations, written mainly by Canadian technology and HR expert Ian Turnbull, covers the impact of PIPEDA and implications to HR practitioners. It answers, in crucial detail, basic questions such as: “Does PIPEDA apply to my organization?”; “If it does not, do I need to do anything about protecting personal information?”; “If it does, how exactly does it impact my organization?”; and “What should I do to act responsibly while minimizing risk and cost?”

Chapters are organized into five main parts, breaking this complex subject down into manageable sections. These parts deal with what is going on right now on the privacy front, how the laws affect the various aspects of HR management, how to create a program, and what the future holds. The book’s appendices offer readers specific practical tools, including sample privacy policies, forms, readiness checklists, business cases, reference sites, a bibliography and an index.

Management of Occupational Health and Safety
By E. Kevin Kelloway, Lori Francis and James Montgomery, 375 pages, Thomson Nelson, 3rd ed. (2006). ISBN 0-17-641610-2.
Available from (416) 752-9448, 1-800-268-2222,

This new edition is aimed at HR practitioners because “occupational health and safety used to be the exclusive domain of safety engineers and technical experts. Now most organizations consider health and safety to be the responsibility of human resources departments. Human resources managers must understand health and safety issues, legislation and programs.”

Readers will find comprehensive coverage under the following chapter headings: legislative framework; workers’ compensation; physical agents; chemical and biological agents; psychosocial hazards; hazard recognition and assessment; hazard control;

training; motivating safety behaviour; emergency response and preparedness; accident investigation; and workplace wellness, work-family and health promotion programs.

Public Health in the Workplace
By Jamie Knight, Malcolm MacKillop and Pamela Leiper,
120 pages, Thomson Carswell (2003).
ISBN 0-459-28302-2.
Available from (416) 609-3800,

Taking the stance that “sensible employers should try to take the lead in matters of health and safety,” the authors were motivated by concerns about SARS and West Nile disease to write a general book advising HR practitioners, general managers and others on how to approach health-related threats.

Chapters address the legal and moral obligations of employers, applicable legislation, quasi-criminal issues, HR issues including communication and absenteeism, compensation questions, travel and work-at-home policies, and ways to handle second-hand smoke, power failures and chemical or environmental sensitivities in the workplace. Two chapters deal specifically with issues in the air travel and health-care sectors.

Relocation 101: Focus on the Greater Toronto Area
(Other titles focus on Montreal, Vancouver and Victoria)
Trafford Publishing.
Available from

These guidebooks may be helpful to employees transferring to a new city. Contents include an overview of the region and the city, neighbourhoods and culture, community services, recreation, housing, health care, information on moving, transportation, employment, the business environment, banking and education. Each volume offers a wealth of contact information and resources.

A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice
By Michael Armstrong,
979 pages,
Kogan Page, 9th ed. (2003).
Available from

Almost 60 chapters on human resource management (HRM) make up this volume written for senior students but potentially useful to HR practitioners as well. While some of the content is specific to the British work environment, most of the topics are universal in scope. Coverage includes:

•HRM development, roles and evaluation;

•HRM policies and strategies, change management, competencies and knowledge management;

•organizational behaviour, motivation, culture;

•employment relationships and the psychological contract;

•organization and job design;

•human resource planning, talent management, human capital, recruitment and selection;

•performance management;

•human resource development including e-learning and career planning;

•reward management, contingent pay, benefits;

•employee relations, communications, negotiation and bargaining;

•health and safety; and

•employment practices and information systems.

Ray Brillinger is a certified management consultant who works with clients on organizational change, HR strategy and performance improvement. He can be reached at (416) 766-9580 or [email protected].

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