Especially during the on boarding process there is a lot of paper work to fill out. At some companies I worked for this is done during the work day and is paid for. Other companies just send all the paper work to my home where I do it on my own time and not get paid. Is one style more common over the other? Is it even legal to not pay for the time taken to read a 50+ page employee handbook? If a handbook can be "updated from time to time" is it really expected to know it well?

This second part may be a separate question but it gives context to the first: I recently was told I had violated a policy that was in the handbook. The handbook was 50 pages and I was not paid to read, let alone memorize, each part of it. That being said, I did read it but not closely scrutinize. (It turned out the policy wasn't legal anyway)

  • The One style more common than other would be quite opinion-based IMHO, the other questions can be answered I think – DarkCygnus Jul 11 '19 at 21:31
  • What if you took that handbook to work and read it during work hours? – DarkCygnus Jul 11 '19 at 21:32
  • @DarkCygnus in some jobs this isn't possible. For example customer facing roles where all the time you're with a customer. – fetcheatable Jul 11 '19 at 21:44
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    Employment regulations vary greatly across Canada - I learned this the hard way when I moved from Saskatchewan to Alberta. Could you please provide what province you're in? – Crosbonaught Jul 11 '19 at 21:45
  • @fetcheatable posted an answer for you to consider – DarkCygnus Jul 11 '19 at 21:45

Checking FedDev Ontario Small Business Services led me to this other page on employment standards. On it, on the Training Time section we can read (emphasis mine):

Training time

Time spent by an employee in training that is required by the employer or by law is counted as work time. For example, where the training is required because the employee is a new employee or where it is required as a condition of continued employment in a position, the training time is considered to be work time.

Time spent in training that is not required by the employer or by law in order for an employee to do his or her job is not counted as work time. For example, where an employee hoping for a promotion with the employer takes training in order to qualify for it, time spent taking the training is not considered to be work time.

I am not a lawyer, nor do I live in Canada, Ontario, but this seems quite clear to me that any training (reading the Handbook is training) is considered work time.

So (again, IANAL), it would seem to me that:

  1. You can read it at home, after work, and it should be considered overtime, or...
  2. You read it at work, which is normal work time.
  • Interesting. I've had quite a few jobs where the expectation was to watch a few e.g. anti-harassment videos from home before starting.This time wasn't paid for. – fetcheatable Jul 11 '19 at 21:47
  • @fetcheatable do note that this seems to apply to Ontario. If you work there, then yes, but if you live elsewhere things could be a bit different. Now regarding that what you say, if you haven't started the job yet... then well I think it could be some sort of loophole as you are technically not working (yet), so watching the video is not (yet) training? I don't know for sure... – DarkCygnus Jul 11 '19 at 21:48
  • @fetcheatable some 'training' things can "Get complex..." with their legal requirements. Legally to continue your employment you're required to not harass your coworkers, and your employer, legally, may be required to provide you with anti-harassment training materials. However, whether you actually read/watch them, and whether or not that has to be done on company time, can be in more of a grey area of the law. - Reading? Not strictly legally required. Not harassing Coworkers? Strictly legally required. – TheLuckless Jul 11 '19 at 22:48

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