City of Mississauga

City of Mississauga

March 26, 2008 15:58 ET

City of Mississauga Introduces Progressive Alternative Work Arrangement Policy

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 26, 2008) - Today Mississauga City Council moved to further solidify the City's position as an Employer of Choice by approving three policies for its full-time, non-union employees: Expanded Use of Six Illness Days, a top-up to the Maternity Benefit Supplement and an innovative Alternative Work Arrangement (AWA) policy.

"At its core, these policies are a deliberate strategy to retain and attract the best and brightest employees," said City Manager and CAO, Janice Baker. "In today's economy, there is a war for talent that is going to get worse. As baby boomers retire in increasing numbers, we will need to be vigilant to the needs of today's employees so that the City continues to ensure business continuity and strong leadership."

Highlights of the policies are as follows:

- The Expanded Use of Six Illness Days allows days to be used for an employee's own medical and dental appointments, procedures and tests.

- The Maternity Benefit Supplement provides 95 per cent of the employee's salary for the first two weeks of the Pregnancy Leave, a top-up of EI benefits to 95 per cent of the employee's regular pay for the following four weeks and a top-up of EI Benefits to 55 per cent of the employee's regular pay for the remaining 11 weeks provided the employee has completed three months of service.

- The AWA policy allows employees to request a number of flexible work arrangements including banking of hours; a compressed work week; flex time; job sharing; working from home; and voluntary reduced hours.

Heather MacDonald, Director, Organizational Wellness and Chair of Employee Engagement Committee at the City, led the development of the new AWA policy which came about as a direct result of employee feedback from the 2006 Employee Engagement Survey. "Our last survey, in conjunction with Brock University's Workplace Health Research Lab, confirmed that the City of Mississauga is an employer of choice. But there were areas that needed improving. Top of the list was work-life balance. So we set out on a year-long process to find a solution to improving flexibility for our employees. The result - the policies that were approved by Council today," said MacDonald.

The City currently employs 1,800 full-time, non-union employees. MacDonald is uncertain how many will opt to take advantage of the new policy but adds: "It is clear that managers will need to ensure service quality is not compromised when employees initiate a request under the new AWA policy."

"It's just good business to provide flexible arrangements to your employees," said Baker. "We value our employees and in many cases, we have already been providing informal arrangements to them. This policy formalizes existing arrangements and ensures consistency and transparency throughout our corporation."

Mississauga is Canada's sixth largest city with a population of more than 700,000. With well-established infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities, the City is considered to be an employer of choice, delivering quality municipal programs and services to its citizens. Mississauga is a dynamic, diverse and progressive municipality, known for its economic strength and for being Canada's safest city.

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