Home|Audio Conferences|Attendance Management

Attendance Management: Addressing absenteeism, accommodating disabilities

Thursday, November 15, 2018, 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm EST

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Colin Johnston



Christine Johnson

Union Lawyer
Champ & Associates
Cameron Wardell

Employer Counsel
Mathews Dinsdale & Clark


Attendance management programs are frequently used by employers to address excessive absenteeism, yet such programs remain contentious and must be properly designed and administered to ensure compliance with human rights, employment standards, and privacy legislation, as well as collective agreement rights. In this session, experienced labour lawyers will explain the key considerations adjudicators take into account in determining whether a program is legally valid and help you navigate human rights and privacy issues when addressing and responding to attendance management issues in the workplace. Issues to be addressed include:

  • What elements must a unilaterally-imposed attendance management program/policy (AMP) contain if it is to withstand arbitral scrutiny for reasonableness?
  • Should unions and employees be concerned about the amount of discretion an employer has in administering an AMP?
  • When will adjudicators find that including absences related to disability or family leave in an AMP is discriminatory?
  • Does an employer have a duty to identify whether disability or family status obligations are the reason for an employee's absences, or must an employee disclose such grounds before the employer's duty to accommodate is triggered?
  • Aside from human rights legislation, what other legislation should be considered when drafting and applying AMPs?
  • What medical information/certificates may be required from employees in an AMP? What steps should employers and unions take to protect the confidentiality of medical information received pursuant to an AMP?
  • When can an employer dismiss an employee for non-culpable absenteeism? Must the employer give notice or request an updated medical opinion regarding the likelihood of improved attendance? Can the employer dismiss the employee if it affects the employee's entitlement to disability benefits?
  • How should attendance management meetings be conducted? What are some "best practices" for employers and unions in discussing attendance issues with employees?
  • What is the scope of an employee's entitlement to union representation in an AMP? Aside from ensuring proper representation, what can union representatives do to assist an employee in an AMP?

Additional Information

Valuable, up-to-date materials and case summaries will be available for downloading from our website. Each audio conference is accompanied by a PDF of concise summaries of the cases discussed.

Audio conference MP3 files are available for $255. Those who have purchased the live audio conference may purchase the corresponding downloadable audio MP3 file for the discounted price of $155.

The recorded MP3 file and materials are available for download one business day after the live audio conference. After purchasing, you will receive an e-mail with instructions on how to access and download the audio conference MP3 file and materials by visiting My Account and selecting Order History. For audio file purchases for upcoming audio conferences, once the MP3 file is available through our site, registrants will receive an update e-mail informing them that the links are now ready.

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