Michael Ford (post until Oct. 31/19)
Employment & Labour

Bank's code of conduct good news for Canadian employees

A move by one Canada’s big banks to issue a new supplier code of conduct outlining the circumstances in which work can be sent offshore is welcome news for Canadian employees, says Toronto civil litigation and employment lawyer Arthur Zeilikman.

According to CP24, the Royal Bank of Canada’s recently released supplier code of conduct says the bank will only send work to offshore suppliers when their “scale, technology or knowledge provides capabilities the bank cannot duplicate.” RBC faced backlash earlier this year when it outsourced the work of a number of employees to a company that used the temporary foreign worker program.

The bank’s new code also reportedly says suppliers “must not hire foreign workers from outside of Canada when performing services on behalf of RBC when a worker eligible to work in Canada is available.”

“Companies should understand that employment for qualified Canadians is crucial and should take precedence over hiring foreign workers overseas,” says Zeilikman.

At the same time, says Zeilikman, the fact that the bank is making a formal commitment not to send work overseas just to save on salaries may not necessarily set a precedent amongst Canadian companies, as businesses vary in their economic and social interests.

“An institution of the size of the RBC is much more likely to be scrutinized by the public than smaller business organizations. Public image and the need to maintain it will vary with each company,” he explains.

“Public image for big companies is important; however, so is the legitimate interest of cutting down on costs. That said, companies should not be able to save at the expense of qualified Canadians who are ready and able to contribute to Canada’s economy,” he adds.


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