A bill worth reading

Every HR professional in Ontario should read Bill 138 — and those outside the province may want to take a peek too

By Todd Humber (todd.humber@thomsonreuters.com)

Legislation is dull. There’s no steering around that. Reading the sections and subsections of a bill is like travelling back in time to Grade 9 when the words of William Shakespeare were first thrust upon you.

Sure, it all seems — and sounds — important. But what does it actually mean?

But persistence has a payoff. Stick with Shakespeare long enough, and the prose unravels fantastically, revealing the brilliance of works like Hamlet, Othello and Romeo & Juliet.

Bill 138, the Act Respecting the Human Resources Professionals Association, passed first reading in the Ontario legislature on Nov. 23. (Photo: Mark Blinch/Reuters)

Ontario’s Bill 138, the Act Respecting the Human Resources Professionals Association, may not be as enjoyable to read as a time-tested play, but stick it out — and all members of the HRPA should — and you’ll undoubtedly find it to be an interesting read.

The 38-page bill, which passed first reading in the Ontario legislature on Nov. 23, will help shape the future of the profession and define the powers of the association. It’s worth taking 15 minutes to at least give it a skim — below are a few highlights (more details, and the full text of the bill, are available here):

New designations? The bill outlines professional designations/initials that HRPA has the right to control in Ontario. In addition to the familiar Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) and Senior Human Resources Professional (SHRP) a couple of new acronyms are added to the mix — Registered Human Resources Professional (RHRP); Associated Certified Human Resources Professional (ACHRP) and Certified Industrial Relations Counsellor (CIRC).

Investigation and inspection powers: The bill states that investigators may, “at any reasonable time, enter and inspect the business premises of the individual or firm under investigation, other than any part of the premises used as a dwelling, without the consent of the owner or occupier and without a warrant.”

Investigators can also:

•Question the individual, or anyone who works with the individual or anyone who works in the firm, to provide information the investigator thinks is relevant.

•Require the production of and examine any document or thing the investigator believes is relevant, including client files.

•Remove any document or thing the investigator believes is relevant for the purposes of making a copy of it.

•Use any data storage, processing or retrieval device or system used in carrying on business on the premises in order to produce a document in readable form.

There’s plenty more in the legislation. No judgment from these quarters about whether the text is good or bad for the profession. But what is clear is that all members of the HRPA — and anyone doing business in human resources — should take the time to read the proposed legislation.

A healthy and informed discussion is never a bad thing.

At Canadian HR Reporter, we’ll be following the bill closely as it works its way through the legislature to find out what it means for you and the profession. Stay tuned.

Todd Humber is the managing editor of Canadian HR Reporter, the national journal of human resource management. For more information, visit www.hrreporter.com.


4 Responses to “A bill worth reading”

  1. 1 Tara December 6, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Is this a first step toward regulating HR professions in Ontario?

    i.e. per the ilk of http://www.ontarioimmigration.ca/en/working/OI_HOW_WORK_PROF_PROFS.html

  2. 2 Carmine Domanico January 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    The Top 10 Reasons why Bill 138 Must Be Stopped!

    1. Protecting the Public: HRPAO has not provided any examples of issues that have arisen in the past 20 years that would relate to the protection of public interest. Legislation already exists to protect the public: ESA, Ontario Human Rights, WSIB, OHSA, Pay Equity, etc.

    2. Lack of Transparency and Engagement: No consultation in the development of the Bill and the impact on members of the Association. Demonstrating a complete lack of transparency and engagement by HRPAO with its members. This Bill was introduced as a Private Members Bill; it is not a government bill and did not go through Legislative Council or consultation nor was it reviewed by government when it was tabled.

    3. Regulation Already Exists: Bill 70 – passed in 1990 provides appropriate regulation of the HR Profession already.

    4. Unnecessary Investigative Powers: Provided to HRPAO to regulate the profession

    5. Impact on Employers/Clients: Investigative powers and control extends beyond members and to their employers/clients

    6. Loss of Jobs: Bill 138 will create hardships and barriers to employment in Ontario

    7. Tremendous Member Feedback: Bill 138 does not represent the needs of the members.

    8. Different Rules for HR Professionals: The right of a member of the Association to practice in the field of human resources is subject to any restrictions or conditions imposed under this Act. This does not apply to other HR professionals who are not members of the Association.

    9. Prohibitive Costs: Significant increase in costs for members and their firms to be certified and maintain certification. Bill 138 will create hardship for all companies operating in Ontario.

    10. Lack of Democracy and Professionalism by the current leaders and the governors of HRPA: The current HRPA organization has used reprisals and threats against anyone within the Association who opposes Bill 138. Members are demanding their resignations. Why provide more powers to this Association?

    Join the hundreds of HR professionals who are voting NO to Bill 138 at http://www.gopetition.com/petition/41862.html

    We urge you to take the time to read through the Bill for yourselves at the following link:

    HR Police State in Ontario – Toronto Fights Back:

    Bill 138: An Offer You Should Refuse:

    Human Resources Professional Association of Ontario as a Regulator:

    Please direct all comments, concerns and questions to tppa.inc@gmail.com

    We understand some people may be reluctant to speak out. Please be assured that your correspondence and identity will not be released to HRPA without your prior approval.

  3. 3 George February 13, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Seriously, the HRPAO has wanted the recognition and pay levels of professional engineers since its inception, but refuse to recognize the difference in responsibility. The proposed legislation is over-reaching and draconian.

    Every business owner, CEO, corporation, etc. should be informed of this pending legislation and the potential damage that could be done to their enterprise by the over zealous HRPAO.

  4. 4 Advancing HR February 28, 2011 at 2:17 am

    Bill 138 is a chance for HR professionals to advance their professional status. And they may not get another chance any time soon if the detractors have their way and defeat this bill.

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