During my career, I have found that most franchise-based organizations are lacking in Human Resources knowledge. While there is usually an HR Department for corporate staff to turn to, the Stores have nowhere to go except the Ministry of Labour. This puts you at personal financial risk, because the Ministry can seize your home, car, cottage, and other assets to pay your obligations to your employees.
The Head Company is absolved of the financial and legal burden and risk associated with the employees, in most cases, because the Franchisee (you) is the Employer of Record. It is quite unfortunate that this situation is not isolated, it happens in many franchise-based companies.
Given the vast number of changes that have happened to all pieces of labour legislation in the past couple of years, it is very important that Franchisees of all brands make themselves familiar with the new rules. Clear policies are not only needed to manage the behaviour of your staff, but also to help guide you and your supervisory staff in day-to-day duties.
I am often asked questions by persons working in a franchise such as, “Is it normal for me to not get a paystub every time they get paid?” (No, paystubs are mandatory every pay period) or “Can my boss just cancel a shift like that?” (it depends, and soon, not as easily) or, my favourite, “My child’s shift on the schedule ends at 10pm, but they stay up to 45 minutes afterwards to do mandatory cleaning, and the store does not pay them for that extra time. Is that fair?” (No, the store should be paying them.)
Do any of these sound like you? If so, you are at a very strong risk of a complaint being registered with the Ministry of Labour.