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Duty to Accommodate – Dylan Snowdon and HR West Consulting

September 29, 2023

Carbert Waite Partner, Dylan Snowdon had a recent discussion with HR West Consulting about the complicated issue of the Duty to Accommodate. 

In the ever-evolving landscape of Human Resources (HR), one question continues to resound: Is it undue hardship or is it a regular hardship? In Canada, HR professionals often grapple with this complex issue when addressing employee accommodations. The duty to accommodate is an obligation for employers to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the needs of employees, ensuring they can perform their job functions without facing discrimination or undue hardship. Dylan’s discussion sheds light on this complex issue. 

Duty to Accommodate & Avoiding Discrimination or Undue Hardship

  • You have to accommodate, but can consider those accommodations that have the least impact on the employer. This approach ensures that employees’ needs are met while preserving the efficiency and productivity of the workplace.
  • Accommodations can take many forms, and it doesn’t always have to be a big or complicated solution. The key is to be open-minded and flexible in finding solutions that work for both the employee and the employer.
  • The difficult accommodations are when there are a lot of unknowns or the employer is not accepting. Mental health often falls in this category. These situations can be challenging and often come with many unknowns and complexities.
  • Whenever someone requests an accommodation, the duty has been triggered. Timely and effective accommodation can prevent potential legal issues and create a more inclusive workplace.

In the realm of human resources in Canada, the duty to accommodate is a fundamental aspect that shapes workplace dynamics and employee relations. Dylan Snowdon’s insights serve as a valuable guide for HR professionals, reminding us of the importance of finding balanced solutions that meet employees’ needs while considering the practicalities of the workplace. As we navigate these complex waters, let us remember that by embracing the duty to accommodate, we can create workplaces that are not only legally compliant but also compassionate, inclusive, and conducive to the well-being of all employees.

To read the blog and watch the full interview, please visit HR West Consulting 

In another discussion with HR West Consulting, Dylan gives insight into how to part ways with disabled employees and the best practices around this technical topic. He talks about approaching the situation with empathy, sensitivity and adherence to legal regulations. Click here to hear Dylan’s interview discussing dismissing a disabled employee