Belle Yuan

Belle Yuan is the founder of Strategywise HR. She is professionally designated as a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) with over 20 years diverse experience in human resources and labour/employee relations. Her passion lies in working with progressive, people-focused organizations in developing proactive strategies that will engage, problem solve, and reduce HR risks and costs in managing staff.

Assessing Credibility: More than Just a Coin Toss (Part 2)

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In “he-said, she-said” situations, who are you to believe when there are no witnesses available or any other sources of evidence?  This is where credibility assessments come in.  A systematic approach to assessing credibility is based on a detailed analysis of several factors in harassment investigations.  In continuation of Part 1 of this blog, here …

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Assessing credibility: More Than Just A Coin Toss (Part 1)

scrabble letters spelling out ASSESS

Harassment investigations are highly nuanced and a challenge to investigate as it often involves the classic “he-said, she-said” scenarios.  In the face of conflicting stories, who are you to believe in the absence of eye witnesses?  How do you conclude what actually happened behind closed doors?    In these cases, it all boils down to an …

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The Cost of Getting it Wrong in Workplace Investigations (Part 2)

In continuation of this blog series, here are some more notable cases over the last decade where employers and HR leaders can learn from to truly understand the cost of getting workplace investigations wrong.  In case you missed the first part of this blog series, you can read it here.     Doyle v Zochem Inc …

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The Cost of Getting It Wrong In Workplace Investigations (Part 1)

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The cost and time required to conduct a legally defensible workplace investigation can sometimes be a barrier for employers – but what is the cost of getting it wrong?  This is the very question we will explore in this two part blog series by reviewing some real-life cases employers and HR leaders can learn from …

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Workplace Assessments: The Lens to Improving Culture Post-Pandemic

group of people high fiving in workplace

The pandemic has brought about unprecedented changes in the workplace over the past 3 years.  Changes in the way work is done, the way people interact, the work environment and the ever changing regulations that applied.    After 3 years, the COVID-19 situation is finally easing, yet, employers continue to grapple with the HR challenges caused …

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Ensuring Fairness and Thoroughness in Harassment Investigations

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In continuation from Part 1 of our blog series on how best to approach harassment complaints, we will now focus on stage 2 of the process as we examine how best to conduct a fair and thorough investigation, following a workplace complaint.    Procedural fairness In every investigation, there are usually 2 or more sides …

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You’ve Got a Harassment Complaint, so what now?

Co-workers harassing and bullying a person in the office

One, don’t panic. Two, don’t pre-judge or make assumptions. Three, take it seriously. These days, allegations of “harassment” or “bullying” can make people tense up very quickly.  Understandably so as reputations are at stake and missteps can be costly – like, in the landmark case of Boucher v. Walmart Canada Corp where the retailer was …

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Is There Really a “Right” to Disconnect in Ontario?

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Over the past 2 years, remote work has transformed the way people work for good.  According to a recent survey conducted by Robert Half and Amazon Canada, about 50% of workers would rather quit than return to the office full-time.  The flexibility and the time saved in commuting for employees translated into working longer hours …

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Ontario’s Vaccine Passport is Near – What Employers Need to Know

vaccine, coronavirus, medical

Ontario is set to roll out it’s very own proof of vaccination system effective September 22, 2021 as announced by the government of Ontario on September 1, 2021.  What exactly does this mean for businesses and employers alike?  If your business is a workplace setting that is affected, are you and your employees prepared?  This …

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Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) – Key Facts for Employers

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

The proposed legislation (Bill C-14) on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) first announced back in late March has now been enacted as of April 11, 2020.  Employers can now have some certainty on the eligibility criteria and what’s involved in accessing CEWS funds as we know it today.   Here are some common questions to …

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Cannabis in the Workplace – Key Facts for Employers

cannabis plant

As of October 17, 2018, the sale, possession and use of recreational cannabis (also known as marijuana, pot, weed or hash) is legalized across Canada.  What exactly does this mean for employers? There is an overwhelming amount of information and articles written about this topic over the past year from all perspectives.  To help employers …

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Overtime Mishaps to Avoid

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BMO and Scotiabank made headlines recently when they settled their overtime class-action lawsuits.  It came at a steep cost though.  Scotiabank paid nearly $40 million plus another $12.5 million in legal fees to defend 2 lawsuits while BMO settled theirs for $12.5 million.   Overtime pay is one of the top 5 complaints filed with …

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Small Business HR Mistakes (Part 2) – What You Don’t Know Can Cost You

Costly mistake of business person looking at piggy bank flying away with some balloon

Unlike large corporations, small medium enterprises (SMEs) simply don’t have the luxury of deep pockets, resources and expertise at their disposal.   They are challenged to come up with creative solutions to stretch their dollar and get the most out of what resources they do have. This makes SME’s especially vulnerable to HR mistakes as one …

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Small Business HR Mistakes (Part 1) – What You Don’t Know Can Cost You

money with wings flying away from man crying

In the world of small medium enterprises (SMEs), it is not uncommon to find companies operating without HR expertise despite employing upto hundreds of staff in some cases. These organizations are often lacking resources and pressed for time while juggling multiple roles – from accounting, to marketing to human resources.  Consequently, HR mistakes are bound …

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Termination Clauses in Employment Contracts

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In recent years, restricting an employee’s severance entitlements to only statutory minimums via termination clauses became common practice for many employers.   The main advantage – a cost-saving measure to help employers lower termination costs instead of paying common law entitlements if and when the difficult decision is made to terminate without cause.  However, in looking …

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Inside HR (Part 3) – Challenges with Internal Workplace Investigations

Workplace investigation file folder with pen - part 3

In this final part of the internal workplace investigation series, let’s now examine the last set of risks highlighted in red below.  If you are new to this series and would like to catch up on the previous blog posts, here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2.  Risk #1:  Internal politics skewing outcome …

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Inside HR (Part 2) – Challenges with Internal Workplace Investigations

Workplace investigation file folder with pen - part 2

In continuation from my last post, let’s examine the next set of challenges in conducting internal investigations through a HR lens.    Risk #1:  Internal politics skewing outcome of investigation Risk #2:  Bias Risk #3:  Lack of time to effectively plan and conduct a thorough investigation Risk #4:  Company policies that may be lacking or …

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Inside HR (Part 1) – Challenges with Internal Workplace Investigations

Workplace investigation file folder with pen

When employers are faced with allegations of employee misconduct, workplace investigations offer a balanced approach for companies to make informed people decisions.  This is especially critical in cases where there is a potential for termination for which litigation risk is high. Is your company diligent in conducting proper workplace investigations?Do you have relevant policies/processes in …

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Workplace Harassment: Lessons from CBC on What Not To Do

Office building of CBC where Jian Ghomeshi works

It’s out!  The investigation findings regarding Jian Ghomeshi’s case has been released.To no surprise, the report revealed a very toxic workplace inside CBC whereby flagrant disrespect and abuse of power by Mr. Ghomeshi toward other employees ran rampant.  It was noted that such behavior was condoned by management for years despite having policies in place …

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Aging Workforce: Employer Strategies for Future Prosperity

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With the looming shift in demographics happening within Ontario workplaces, employers need to start critically assessing their HR needs in order to better prepare themselves for an aging workforce. FACTS: Birth and fertility rates in Canada continues to decline  The number of seniors is expected to surpass the number of children by 2015 (Statistics Canada) …

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Employer Obligations – Workplace Violence & Harassment (Bill 168 & Bill 132)

Between the media spotlight surrounding the Jian Ghomeshi/CBC case, the Liberal MPs indiscretions on Parliament Hill and the hefty damage awards (over $400,000) levied against Walmart Canada for failing to properly investigate workplace harassment (Boucher v Walmart Canada, ONCA 2014) – it is no surprise employers have a heightened awareness of what can go horribly wrong …

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