Building Service Providers – there are a lot of them! Under the Employment Standards Act, 2000, they are described as a person or company that provides SECURITY, Cleaning, Food Services, Property Management, Parking Garage/Lot, or Concession Stands which are related to a particular building, its occupants and visitors. (Providers also include the owner or manager of a building if that owner or manager provides any of these services to a building that they own or manage). If you aren’t happy with your Security Guard services for whatever reason, and want change, here is some information for your consideration.
Note: Your Contract or Service Agreement with your current provider will of course determine when your change can be made.
The Employment Standards regulation that comes into play when you want to change your Guard Service provider (or any other service provider for that matter), is the Continuity of Employment (Part IV) provision which is there to ensure that an individual employee’s past employment is recognized when their employer no longer provides service at the building where they work and they are hired by a new service provider. (This provision is also relevant when a business is sold to a new owner and the employees continue to work for the new owner).
What this provision means is that when a Security Guard of one Guard Service is hired by a new Guard Service provider, they do not start as a ‘new employee’ for the purpose of Employment Standards entitlements. Their date of hire will be the same as with their original employer to ensure their eligibility will not change for such things as vacation and other types of ‘leave’ as well as notice of termination and pay, or severance.
In addition, the new Guard Service provider has to make an offer of employment that according to Employment Standards ‘is reasonable in the circumstances’. It is likely that existing Guards being made a ‘reasonable’ offer will choose to stay at your facility (although if any of them refuse the offer or choose to stay with their current employer, the new provider can bring in replacement Security Guards). There is no definition of exactly what ‘reasonable’ means but the new service provider must be careful not to get into a situation where the offer made to the existing Guards could be construed as ‘constructive dismissal’. For example, if hours of work are being completely changed or wages reduced substantially, it may be that the Guard simply cannot accept the offer of continued employment and so in effect, they are being forced to leave their employment. If it is necessary to make such extensive changes, the new Guard Service provider has to comply with Employment Standards Termination and Severance of Employment sections (Part XV) and give the existing Guards the option to choose termination and receive all their Termination and Severance entitlements which, depending on the length of their employment, could of course, prove to be very costly and not a viable proposition. However, this is the only way to change your actual Guards if they are not satisfactory to you – they must receive their monetary entitlements according to their length of service.
The alternative is to ensure that your new Guard Service provider is up for the challenge: Give them the opportunity to re-train, manage and mould your existing Guard team into the professional Guard team you need. (Any Guard who fails to respond positively will eventually lose their employment subject of proper escalating disciplinary process).
Regardless of whether the existing Guard force is staying or leaving, in order for any new Guard Service company to make a Proposal and Quotation, they need to be provided with the following information which is obtained from your current Security Guard service company:
- Name, Address and Telephone number for each employee;
- Their dates of hire (including any period of employment attributed to the current provider because of the continuity of employment provisions of Employment Standards);
- Their wage rate(s) and details of benefits including the cost of each benefit;
- For each employee – details regarding the number of hours worked in a regular work day and work week or, when the hours of work vary from week to week, the number of non-overtime hours for each week worked by the employee during the 13 weeks prior to the date the request for information was made. (Note that further detailed information could be required depending on the complexity of the existing scheduling or employee turnover).
Another reason you might want to change your Guard Service Company is that you aren’t happy with what you are paying for your service. In this instance, you must give proper consideration to the Employment Standards Continuity of Employment provision and the rules in respect of either ‘reasonable’ offers of continued employment or the alternative termination and severance payments. Perhaps you won’t get to reduce your costs too much but you most certainly must expect better value for your budget dollars!
Look for a ‘Security Partner’ with value-added benefits and enhanced customer service.
In Summary: There is no way to know whether Security Guards employed by your existing Guard Service Provider will transfer to a new Guard Service provider. Therefore I recommend that you begin your search process at least three months prior to your required change-over date to allow time for any necessary hiring and training to be properly completed.
When you are ready for change, don’t forget 4D PROTECTION! We provide Industrial, Corporate or Construction service, short or long term, within the GTA. Call to set up a no-obligation, no-cost, mutually beneficial presentation.
CALL MIKE POBJOY NOW (289) 374-6347 (monitored 24 hours by pager)