Outplacement Services for Canada
May 04, 2020 by Shannon Perry
For many Canadians, experiencing a layoff may not necessarily come in the form of a huge corporation. A significant number of layoffs come from smaller companies, but it doesn’t mean that they are any less difficult to conduct for the company or for the employee to experience.
They are a normal part of doing business, even outside of a global pandemic, but when handled hastily a layoff can lead to a seriously damaged public opinion and even legal action from the employee now faced with joblessness and no way to pay their bills. That’s where outplacement services come in.
What Are Outplacement Services?
When a reduction-in-force event is necessary, companies have to consider things like company brand, legal repercussions, and the morality of turning impacted employees loose without a plan. This is where outplacement services come in. Through career coaching, resume writing, networking, and training, outplacement providers such as Careerminds are able to help employees who have been impacted by a layoff find new, meaningful jobs quicker and easier.
Our platform makes it easier than ever before for participants to use these services wherever they are located—whether it’s around the world, or just around town. And, because it’s virtual and versatile, it can be done anytime too, meaning that people aren’t restricted to a schedule in order to use our services.
Why Canadian Companies Need Outplacement Services
Federal law requires that Canadian companies offer severance to their outbound employees, though outplacement is optional. But like severance, it is a great resource for employees impacted by a layoff. Outplacement services are also an invaluable tool for companies as well because it can help the layoff event go more smoothly and negate the negative side effects on the company brand throughout the process.
What exactly is a company brand?
According to Ignyte, “A brand is the way a company, organization, or individual is perceived by those who experience it. More than simply a name, term, design, or symbol, a brand is the recognizable feeling a product or business evokes.”
Ignyte’s definition of a company brand is spot on. Because a company brand is the living, breathing spokesperson for a company, it is immeasurably important to do everything possible in order to preserve that brand. Outplacement services are a big part of that because customers (and potential future talent) are watching a layoff event.
A poorly handled layoff event can do serious damage to your company brand. However, using services like Careerminds can go a long way towards ensuring that impacted employees are taken care of. In turn, that shows others that you value the time that person has invested in the company.
For some companies, employer brand and company brand are one and the same simply because customers aren’t keen on giving their business to a company that would treat employees badly. But, for everyone else, the difference is that employer brand deals more with current employees and demonstrating to future employees that despite the layoff, the company is still “one of the good ones.”
But, how to show it?
One way is with transparency and notice. Be tactful and show empathy, but be honest and forthright about what’s coming. From the moment the decision is made to hold a layoff event, it’s essential that companies explain why a layoff is happening and who will be impacted. Being honest and communicating early is very important, but as we mentioned, so is showing empathy. Impacted employees need time and space to process the news. Managers should be attentive, knowledgeable and available to those who need it.
Being laid off, regardless if someone has been with a company for two months or two years, can be very stressful and scary. Many people may have savings built up, but without already having a job lined up it can take a long time to secure another one on their own. In the meantime, the now unemployed former employee has used up their savings and severance and may be forced to begin drawing EI benefits.
Outplacement services provide training, resources, and counselling for the impacted employees so that they can more quickly get into a new, meaningful job. It can also alleviate some of the stress and anxiety of job loss, providing hope and opportunity to those impacted by the lay-off event. After the lay-off meeting and after delivering the severance agreement, it’s wise to check in with those who have been impacted. Whether they accept outplacement services or not, it shows you care about them and their situation.
Legal Obligations and Mitigating Risk
Careerminds isn’t equipped to offer legal advice (please consult your legal department throughout the layoff process), but there are a lot of laws and regulations that can impact outplacement services in both Canada and internationally. In many cases, it can be surprising how easy it is to break the law and risk lawsuits simply because HR may not be as well versed in the law.
Unlike some other countries, Canadian employers are required to provide notice and severance in most cases on both the federal and provincial level. Outplacement services aren’t a requirement, but many businesses choose to contract with providers because it can help reduce the chances of former employees taking legal action.
One of the things that your legal department may talk about in the initial stages of planning a lay-off is protected employees.
The Employment Equity Act is designed to protect vulnerable groups, some designated groups, and visible minorities from wrongful termination and to ensure that employees from these groups are provided reasonable opportunities and accommodations within the company and community as a whole. Under this act, employers must eliminate policies within the company that create barriers and foster positive practices and policies so that these individuals have representation in the Canadian workforce.
This act protects employees past, present and future from discrimination, but it doesn’t mean that employers are unable to lay-off employees of the applicable populations. It is, however, important to make certain that a lay-off event is lawful and free of any kind of discrimination.
Outplacement Services in Canada: The Wrap Up
Outplacement services can have a positive impact on companies that may have to hold RIF or layoff events. With benefits such as reducing risk, improving company brand, and ensuring the stability of former employers, it’s no wonder that we’re a popular choice with businesses. Careerminds puts people first and uses next-gen technology to aid HR, employees, and survivors during workplace transitions.
By using outplacement services, you can be confident that every aspect of the RIF event has been planned and is covered. Companies such as yours can rest assured that they have the support they need to land their next ideal role outside of the company!
Let us know what we can do to help make your next layoff event a success!
In need of outplacement assistance?
At Careerminds, we care about people first. That’s why we offer personalized talent management solutions for every level at lower costs, globally.