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World of Work Webinar Series Recap

By: George Waggott, founder, and Roberto Fonseca-Velazquez, summer law student,

George Waggott Law





The World of Work originated to connect like-minded professionals by creating a gathering point to exchange information about workplaces. Initially, this started as curated content on a web page and has now blossomed to include webinars and (when conditions allow) in-person networking events. We encourage this growing network of individuals and organizations to participate in exchanging ideas and knowledge pertaining to the workplace in any way they would like. In 2021 we held our first panel, which featured three speakers whose ideas on the workplace are outlined below. Please use these panelists as a workplace resource and reach out to them directly should you have any follow up.


Katie Smith


Katie has taken the “no fixed approach” perspective used at her workplace, and has translated this into a progressive form of HR. Three pillars of progressive HR which she outlined are as follows:


1) It’s not all admin

As a progressive HR professional, one must go beyond the administrative tasks that are often demanded of HR. Instead, HR professionals should focus on business outcomes, metrics, ROI, data, and predictive analytics. HR should prove themselves as a revenue-generating function in the organization, as opposed to being just a cost center.

2) Go beyond employment “perks”

Create initiatives that support employees’ lifestyles by creating a workplace that is inclusive, accepting, and tolerant of all individuals. Create a safe space for any person to join the organization in order to release their potential. This is how HR can support the development of high-performing employees and in turn show the rest of the organization that HR is a valuable component of the business as opposed to simply a service.

3) We get the big picture

Katie emphasized how important it is that organizations give employees the opportunity to work on challenging problems and initiatives so that they can continue to grow. Use HR to support employees so they know that it is okay to fail from time to time. This allows employees to continuously show up to do the best work for the organization.


George Waggott


George Waggott Professional Corporation (george@georgewaggott.com)

George reviewed three major elements that are shaping the legal relationships that can be found in modern workplaces. He highlighted that in recent times the law has changed the relationship between employers and employees in the workplace are dealt with, as well as the way work is being completed. These three themes covered were as follows:


1) Gig workers have rights

The case of Uber Technologies Inc. v. Heller, 2020 SCC 16 held that unconscionable clauses in worker contracts will not be enforced. This means that there is potentially an implied safety net in the law that courts will use to protect a broader category of workers. This precedent may permit future courts to further extend the protection of our workplace laws to independent contractors.

2) No perfect employment contract

The decision in Waksdale v. Swegon North America Inc., 2020 ONCA 391 held that when an unenforceable provision exists in an employment contract, the whole contract may be thrown out even if the improper provision was not relied upon. There are many employment contracts that may exist with similar unenforceable provisions. This opened the potential for a large amount of employment contracts to be challenged.

3) Electronic law is changing the way we work

Substantial changes to the way we work are already upon us, and they are coming fast. Lean processes have and will continue to make their way into offices. Many of these changes will be here to stay. There is an ongoing push in the legal world and clients to make permanent those changes which have been inspired or required by the pandemic.


Adele Harraway


Canadian Accounting Consultants (aharraway@cdnconsultants.ca)

Adele highlighted why individuals need recruiters and that the best time to get in touch with a recruiter is right now.


1) How can a candidate benefit from consulting with a recruiter?

The market is constantly evolving and labour market conditions are mercurial. Relying on the specialized knowledge of a recruiter can give a candidate peace of mind. The recruiter will also be able to keep the candidate up to date with news of the latest opportunities.

2) Know your worth

A recruiter will be a candidate’s best advocate. It is crucial that a candidate knows their worth; a candidate’s worth is not just about money, values and other intangible factors are significant. If a candidate communicates the intangible factors that add to their worth to the recruiter, the recruiter will be more successful in representing the candidate, and getting them in front of potential employers and the right opportunities.

3) Benefits for both employers and candidates

·        Recruiters have vast knowledge that they can pass on to employers and candidates on the most current market conditions;

·        Recruiters have a large networks and many relationships that allow them to know who to contact at what time;

·        Recruiters can connect with candidates on a personal level to better advise them at inflection points in their career;

·        Recruiters provide support and guidance to both employers and candidates as they navigate a change to the workforce or to their career;

·        Recruiters provide an individual and personalized experience for both candidates and employers.


For more information about George Waggott Law, please see: www.georgewaggott.com, or contact: george@georgewaggott.com

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