BWA June Quarterly Event Provides Employment Law Updates, WSIB, and New Website!

Greetings from the new BWA Website!

The Bluewater Wood Alliance cluster has developed a new website platform to facilitate engagement and connectivity between members, suppliers, potential new customers and our strategic partners. As with anything new, there will be bugs to iron out. Please make sure you register on the site ASAP so you can get connected with the rest of the cluster! If you have any questions or feedback for the site, please forward them along!

The benefit of the BWA cluster is that members get access to updated information on important topics related to their business. Most members are busy with the day-to-day pressures of customers and timelines, and do not have the resources devoted to non-direct business tasks like legislative due diligence. It is a challenge to “do it all” in changing times and keep up to date.

BWA’s June 29, 2017 quarterly networking event featured an Employment Law Update by Jill Sampson of The Alliance Lawyers of Grey Bruce. In addition to current employment law, the new legislation: Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 was reviewed. It is not yet in force, amendments will be effective on varying dates between January 1, 2018 and 2019. While the minimum wage increase to $15 per hour is getting the most attention, there are other far reaching aspects of this legislation that impact wood product manufacturing businesses. One of these is equal wages for part time and full time employees effective April 1, 2018. Other due diligence was reviewed and much discussion ensued between members and Jill, bringing extended value to this forum. The power point from this presentation is posted in the member area of our website in the Resource Library.

WSIB was the other main topic reviewed and how it compares to (and is not!) the Ministry of Labour. It is an expense all BWA members incur. Members benefitted from a presentation by Paula Andrade that reviewed updates and changes to resources available, and methods to minimize your risk and the premiums you pay.

Because paying WSIB is mandatory, it is often seen as a financial burden without much ROI for companies. On the contrary, there are some excellent programs and initiatives to tap into that are not well known as they should be by our members. Resources to help with development policies and procedures and other compliance systems were reviewed. Most important, there is a 5% rebate on your premiums available by participating in 4 sessions that help you with your safety program. The BWA is coordinating a series of events for this training. If you are interested, contact the BWA today!

As for all of our networking events, members continued into the late afternoon for networking and further developing their business connections in the wood industry!

Please mark down Sept 29 for the next BWA event hosted by Conestoga College!

If you are not a member of the BWA and would like to learn more, please contact BWA Executive Director Mike Baker: [email protected]