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INSIDER    July 7, 2015 pdf version  


» Merchants Are Responsible – EMV Compliance Oct 15 2015 

EMV Cards take effect on October 15, 2015.  EMV Merchants are responsible for fraudulent cards if they are not EMV compliant. Currently the banks are responsible for absorbing the cost. This accountability shifts to the merchant in October 2015 if they are not EMV compliant. EMV stands for EuroPay, MasterCard, and Visa.  Global financial transactions now include smart chips embedded within the new EMV credit and debit cards interfacing with various POS terminals.  The liability shift to the merchant has huge ramifications and merchants that are not currently comply must start to plan their course. 

Merchant Networks and EMV Migration Opportunities and Issues - You are a Canadian merchant, and that means you are in the beginning of a new chip card acquiring era. Your card acquiring equipment and the way you accept debit and credit cards will change. If you own dozens of businesses with multiple cash registers, and your sales staff work shifts round the clock, this White Paper is for you and about you. Read it but remember: whatever is said here is to trigger your own thoughts. This paper will not save you money and time, or prevent stress, but your actions can. Click here for more information. Additional information can be found at http://www.emvcanada.com/

» Removing Liquor from Licensed Premises 

Licensees must ensure that patrons do not remove liquor from the licensed premises, including licensed patios. There can be a tendency for some patrons to take a drink with them to an adjacent parking lot, sidewalk or alleyway for a smoke or other purpose. Licensees must have proper monitoring practices and security in place to make sure these practices do not occur. It is a violation of liquor regulations to allow patrons to remove liquor from the licensed premises. This could lead to a monetary penalty of up to $4000 or a suspension of the liquor licence.

» International Visitors to Canada

Click http://en.destinationcanada.com/infographic/april-2015 for an infographic update on the status of US Visitors up to April 2015. 

» April 2015 Tourism Snapshot

Please be advised that Destination Canada has just released the April 2015 Tourism Snapshot, our Market Research product, prepared for the tourism industry. April 2015 Tourism Snapshot

» Ontario Foodservice Sales Growth April 2015
Statistics Canada


Ontario - Overall Ontario sales for the food services and drinking places industry showed an increase  (+6.52%) from Apr 2014 to Apr 2015 .Total year on year growth is up at (+5.38%). 

The full service sales in Apr 2015 showed an increase in growth from the previous year of Apr 2014 by (+6.44%) with limited service posting a increase of (+7.19%). Drinking places showed a decrease in growth by (-3.36%) and special food services also showed a increase by (+5.94%). 

In the month of Apr 2015 YTD, Full service places revenues increased from Apr 2014  YTD by (+5.90%) with limited service also showing an increase of  (+5.48%). Drinking places registered a decrease of (-7.02%). Special services also increased YTD by (+5.86%). 

Canada - Sales for the food services and drinking places industry increased (+3.90%) from previous month. In Apr,  3 , of the industry sectors posted increases compared with Mar. Special Food Services sector increased by (+4.20%) and Drinking places showed a decrease of  (-8.30%) The other two remaining sectors showed increases in the same time period. Full Service Restaurants Sector, increased by (+3.20%) and also Limited Service eating places showed an increase of (+6.10%).

»
 Employment Update: Termination Provisions and the Definition of Severance 

Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin – By Meghan Cowan

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice’s decision in Paquette v. Quadraspec Inc. addresses two important issues that employers face: (1) how to properly draft an employment agreement in accordance with the notice provisions in Ontario’s employment standards legislation (the Employment Standards Act, 2000,(“ESA”)); and (2) whether an employee is entitled to severance pay in addition to termination pay upon termination under the ESA.

The interpretation of the wording of termination provisions in employment agreements is not a novel issue. The Supreme Court of Canada and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice have both previously held that employment agreements that do not provide the minimum notice requirements under the ESA are null and void and therefore entitle the employee to common law notice (see the Supreme Court of Canada’s 1992 decision in Machtinger v. HOJ Industries and the more recent Ontario Superior Court of Justice decisions in Stevens v. Sifton Properties Ltd., Miller v. A.B.M. Canada Inc. and Howard v. The Benson Group Inc.).

The issue of entitlement to severance pay addressed by the court in Paquette v. Quadraspec Inc., however, is a novel one and changes the game in the sense that it runs against the traditional understanding of the definition of payroll under the ESA.

The Case
In Paquette v. Quadraspec Inc., Mr. Paquette made two claims against his former employer: (1) he claimed that the termination provision in his employment agreement with Quadraspec Inc. (“Quadraspec”) did not provide for the minimum benefit entitlements under the ESA and was therefore null and void; and (2) he claimed that he was entitled to severance pay in accordance with the ESA, despite the fact that his employer’s payroll in Ontario was not over $2.5 million.

Termination Provisions in the Employment Agreement
Under the ESA, an employer may terminate the employment of an employee and provide pay in lieu of notice if it continues to maintain whatever benefit plan contributions it provided to the employee, had he or she continued to be employed during the notice period.

Mr. Paquette had been employed by Quadraspec and its predecessor since 1983. In 1998, the parties entered into a new employment contract which provided for a maximum termination payment of six months’ salary. The termination clause expressly stated that the employee waived the right to claim any other amounts, excluding salary, vacation pay and other benefits accrued and unpaid at the time of termination. 

Mr. Paquette was dismissed without cause in 2011. At that time, he was covered by Quadraspec’s group insurance plan. Upon the termination of his employment, Quadraspec paid Mr. Paquette six months’ salary, as well as an amount for benefits earned and unpaid at the time of termination. 

Mr. Paquette sued, arguing that the termination clause was null and void because it did not comply with the ESA’s minimum requirements. The Court agreed and held that the termination clause was inconsistent with the requirements in the ESA that the employer maintain all benefits until the end of the notice period. In this way, the Court held that Mr. Paquette – an employee with over 24 years’ service – was entitled to common law damages (although the Court did not quantify the amount of common law notice in its decision). 

Severance Pay
Under the ESA, employees with more than five years’ service are entitled to severance pay if their employer has a payroll of over $2.5 million. Severance pay entitlement is in addition to any notice required under the ESA and is calculated as one weeks’ pay per year of service to a maximum of 26 weeks.
Mr. Paquette had been employed by Quadraspec and its predecessor since 1983 and had worked in Ontario since 1987. While Quadraspec had a payroll of less than $2.5 million in Ontario, it had a payroll of more than $2.5 million in Ontario and Quebec together at all relevant times.

In its decision, the Ontario Superior Court held that the calculation of an employer’s payroll for the purposes of an employee’s entitlement to severance pay under the ESA is not restricted to the employer’s payroll in Ontario. The Court held that Mr. Paquette was therefore entitled to severance pay.

Importance for Employers
  • Be careful when drafting employment agreements:
° Quadraspec argued that although the termination provision in the employment agreement did not explicitly mention benefit plan contributions, its obligation to continue such contributions was implicit. In rejecting this argument, the Court focused on the entire employment contract (a comprehensive 15-page document), and held that it was not up to the Court to infer terms that were absent from the agreement.
° Because of the drafting of the termination provision in the employment agreement, the employer lost its ability to pay Mr. Paquette only six months’ termination pay and was required to instead pay the employee common law notice. This meant that Quadraspec lost the benefit of the bargain and, specifically, its agreement with Paquette to provide minimum ESA payments on termination and not common law damages.
  • Know the scope of your business:
° With respect to the calculation of severance pay, the Court’s decision has potentially significant repercussions for both national and international businesses with a smaller presence in Ontario. As the Court’s decision may increase the number of employers liable for severance pay entitlements in Ontario, employers should be mindful of this, especially when planning sales or significant business reorganizations. It will be interesting to note how other courts interpret this decision going forward, due to the implications for larger national and international firms
 
» Ontario Saves $50 Million for Businesses by Reducing Red Tape - Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure – Newsroom June 30, 2015

Province Streamlines Services, Helps Businesses Succeed and Grow - Ontario's strategic approach to cutting red tape has led to $50 million in savings and 2.4 million saved hours for businesses across the province in the last four years. 

Released today, the Building a Better Business Climate for Ontario: 2015 Burden Reduction Report profiles strong action taken to reduce unnecessary regulatory and administrative processes that cost businesses time and money. The report features 28 initiatives across government that are modernizing services and making it easier for businesses to succeed, including:

Creating a new online system for processing payments for the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care's Assistive Devices Program -- reducing wait times for payments and saving registered vendors $16.7 million and an estimated 500,000 hours over four years.

A new, convenient online compliance check tool available to businesses with a good track record, as an alternative to full inspections under the Employment Standards Act,- saving these businesses an estimated $725,000 and 36,500 hours over two years.

Streamlining regulations and processes with the Ministry of Transportation's simplified testing requirements for senior commercial drivers to renew their licences -- saving drivers $1.87 million and an estimated 57,000 hours over a year.

Ontario has set a target of reducing burdens to save business $100 million by the end of 2017. With $50 million of savings so far, our province is halfway to reaching its target. This is part of our government's broader strategy, aimed at reducing unnecessary burdens to businesses across Ontario. Since 2008, our government has eliminated more than one in six regulatory requirements - or 80,000 regulatory burdens, leading to more efficient, streamlined processes.

Streamlining regulation to help businesses grow and stay competitive is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.

» City of Toronto Proposed Code of Practice – Keeping Grease Out of the Sewer System

Did you know the City of Toronto is proposing to establish a code of practice to keep grease out of their sewer systems? This will impact your business bottom line. ORHMA wants to hear from you by August 3, 2015. 
 
City of Toronto Commitment: Dedicated to providing Quality Drinking Water, Wastewater Treatment, Stormwater Management.  
 
Council Direction - In December 2013, City Council directed City staff to undertake consultations in 2014 regarding the proposed changes to the Pollution Prevention (P2) Program and subsequent Sewers By-law, Municipal Code Chapter 681. Consultations are underway and ORHMA has been engaged.
 
These changes include:  
  • creation of a subject pollutant threshold reporting list;  
  • changes to the dental office submission requirement;   
  • changes to the grease interceptor requirement;  
  • creation of a Best Management Practice (BMP) for the automotive refinishing sector; and 
  • creation of a Code of Practice for mobile washing business operations 

Currently: Every owner/operator of a restaurant or other industrial, commercial/institutional premises where food is cooked, processed or prepared, shall take all necessary measures to ensure that oil and grease are prevented from entering the City sewer and shall install, operate, and properly maintain a grease interceptor in any piping system at its premises that connects directly or indirectly to a sewer. The grease interceptors shall be installed in compliance with the most current requirements of the Ontario Building Code, which adopted the CSA Standard B481Series-12 Grease Interceptors, effective January 1, 2014. 
 
Proposed Changes: Establish a Code of Practice that follows the CSA Standard B481 Series-12 Grease Interceptors which includes mandatory instructions on grease interceptor sizing, installation and maintenance and incorporates mandatory housekeeping requirements to help keep grease out of the sewer systems. 
 
CSA B481 Sizing/Installation: Peak flow rate will determine the minimum size of grease interceptor required and the final size shall be rounded to the next larger size interceptor or more. 
 
FOG – Fats, Oil & Grease discharging fixtures must be connected to the grease interceptor, including dishwashers. Applicable to new businesses, new installations and new buildings. 
 
Maintenance: Cleaning frequency: when volume of grease and solids reach 25% of the liquid volume in the interceptor and minimum of once every 4 weeks. Adding bacterial/enzymes additives to grease interceptor is prohibited. Applicable to new and existing food service establishments (FSE).  
Draft Proposal: Code of Practice Maintenance: Service required every 4 weeks, unless volume of grease and solids does not exceed 25% of the liquid volume in the interceptor (within the 4 week period), then must service when 25% volume is reached & no later than 8 weeks. Manual clean-out of interceptor permitted for FSEs without onsite stove or fryer and other requirements, otherwise a MOECC certified waste hauler must be contracted. Recommend waste hauler whose invoice contains information on the interceptor’s integrity and the grease, solids and water composition. A service log shall be kept to demonstrate grease management compliance. 
 
Kitchen Practices: Including FOG storage, FOG disposal, spill avoidance (in/outside), exhaust system cleaning and record keeping. 
 
Your feedback is required as the City is having a low response rate to surveys sent to restaurants by mail. 
 
Feedback that the City of Toronto has received thus far: 
 
Survey 10% response rate (out of 7,993) 
88% have a grease interceptor (GI) in the food premise 
58% clean their GI within one month 
75% DO NOT use bacterial and/or enzyme products in the GI 
89% are proactive by using a pre-planned schedule to clean GI 
63% are aware of the CSA Standard B481 
15% have experienced sewage blockages at food premise 
 
ORHMA: Industry Association –in favour of voluntary Code of Practice not in a bylaw 
 
–CSA Standard apply to new builds and those undertaking renovations ONLY.
 
Timeline: Proposed changes to proceed to Committee this fall 2015.  Provide feedback to ORHMA: info@orhma.com  

» Seasonal Lodging Worker Program - Assistance Required 

The attached letter is from Tony Pollard President & CEO of the Hotel Association of Canada outlining the 2015 Grassroots Election Federal Campaign. Included and listed below is the a request of your assistance on the workforce issues arising from the 2014 changes to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. Please send your comments directly to Crouch@hotelassociation.ca by July 17.  

Your Assistance is Needed - We are making inroads with the development of our Seasonal Lodging Worker Program which addresses seasonal labour shortages. In order to develop and implement the Seasonal Lodging Worker Program we need statistical data. Therefore I am asking you to take a few minutes to advise the HAC of your labour shortages at the property level or aggregated provincially or nationally. We need to demonstrate that while every effort has been made to engage Canadians, many positions remain vacant and are therefore unable as an industry to provide the service necessary. This has translated into whole floors of hotels being unable to open or remain open or staff having to work 12 hour shifts and so forth. 

Accordingly, we ask you to advise the HAC on how many positions remain vacant even after advertising the job postings. The top five positions we are asking for information on are Servers, Room Attendants, Line Cooks, Guest Service Agents and Kitchen Help. However, should you have information on other positions these could include but not limited to maintenance, grounds, spa, golf, and supervisory/ management positions. If you are providing this data at the property level, please indicate which municipality. We ask that the information you provide pertain to the first six months of 2015. We’d also appreciate anecdotal information such as the examples listed above of long shifts and/or closed floors. 

Please send your responses to Linda Crouch at the Hotel Association of Canada to Crouch@hotelassociation.ca by July 17.  Thank you for your attention to this request and we look forward to your reply. 

» Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management Welcomes New Director
Press Release

The Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Ryerson University welcomes Dr. Frederic Dimanche as the new Director of the school, effective July 1, 2015.

Dr. Dimanche obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon (USA). He then worked as a Professor in the School of Hotel Restaurant and Tourism Administration at the University of New Orleans. After working over 15 years in the USA, he joined SKEMA Business School in France in 2001 to create and develop on the French Riviera the Center for Tourism Management and award-winning Master programs in tourism, event, and hospitality management.

He has contributed as a guest lecturer or as a consultant to universities, private companies, and national or regional tourism organizations in Canada, France, the USA, and other countries in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Frederic is a past President of the Travel and Tourism Research Association Europe. He received the National Tour Foundation Visiting Scholar Award, USA (1994) for service to the industry and the Harrison McCain Foundation Research Professor Award at the University of New Brunswick, Canada (2010). He is also a member of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism.

The School would like to thank Dr. David Martin for his 10 years of leadership as its Director and is looking forward to him returning to the classroom in Fall 2016 after his one year sabbatical, to continue to prepare the future leaders of the Hospitality and Tourism industry.

» Join ORHMA’s Energy Program – October 2015


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» Are You Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Working in the Hospitality Sector?


Are you, or someone you know, a Deaf chef? A concierge using a visual communication? A waiter with hearing aids? We’d love to share your story.

We’re looking for stories from all kinds of establishments, from the small-town coffee shop to the big city hotel. Ideally we are hoping to find success stories in both the front-of-house and back-of-house of both the food service and lodging sectors.

Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) and CHS are collaborating on a series of videos and webinars highlighting the stories of Deaf and hard of hearing workers in the hospitality sector. This project will raise the profile of Deaf and hard of hearing people within the workforce, as well as provide guidance to ORHMA members on the AODA Employment Standard, Customer Service, Information and Communications, best practices and guidelines. If you’re interested in sharing your story, please contact: Jennifer Beer: Jennifer.beer@chs.ca

»  Welcome New Members
»  Industry Events     
  • September 17, 2015 – Save the Date! ORHMA Windsor Region 17th Annual Golf Tournament, Fox Glen Golf Course. 

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