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The HR Toolkit is for board members, managers and supervisors who are responsible for recruiting, onboarding, training and managing staff. This HR Toolkit was created to support Medical Staff Associations (MSAs) and Physician Societies to utilize best practice and equitable approaches to people management, while also highlighting the employer’s obligations.

The practices suggested in this HR Toolkit will assist individuals in:

  • Improving the recruitment and selection process
  • Expanding the onboarding procedures for new hires
  • Outlining a clear compensation and benefits plan
  • Clarifying statutory leaves of absence for all workers
  • Documenting progress to monitor work performance
  • Managing disciplinary and termination procedures
  • Organizing resignations and retirements of employees
  • Adhering to occupational health and safety regulations



Throughout this HR Toolkit, you will find BLUE boxes indicating ‘Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Best Practices.’ EDI refers to the fair and respectful treatment of all people, particularly those that have been historically marginalized [equity]; the promotion of differences among people’s life experiences and perspectives, which may involve their race, ethnicity, skin colour, religion, ability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and more [diversity]; and the creation and continuous practice of a respectful and diverse culture that welcomes and supports all [inclusion]. EDI best practices are essential for the success of any organization and are ideally incorporated throughout an employee’s life cycle – from recruitment to offboarding. The ‘EDI Best Practices’ boxes highlight top tips and recommendations for incorporating this perspective.


Additionally, within PURPLE boxes, you will find the resources, tools and templates relevant for each section of the HR Toolkit.


There are many types of staff that work within MSAs and Physician Societies. The table below highlights some of the key features that defines each category of staff.

Regular, Salaried Employees

Regular, Hourly Employees

Independent Contractors

  • On payroll
  • Receive deductions on each paycheque for CPP, MPP, EI, etc.
  • Earn vacation days off
  • Eligible for employee perks, such as (if applicable) group health benefits, professional development funds, etc.
  • Employment dictated by the Employment Standards Act
  • Eligible for statutory leaves, holidays and benefits
  • On payroll
  • Submit timesheets for hours worked
  • Receive deductions on each paycheque for CPP, MPP, EI, etc.
  • Receive percentage vacation pay on each paycheque
  • Generally not entitled to employee perks such as (if applicable) group health benefits, professional development funds, etc.
  • Employment dictated by the Employment Standards Act
  • Submit invoices for hours worked
  • Provide their own equipment and cover their own costs of working (e.g., office supplies, cellphone charges, travel, etc.)
  • Manage their own hours and are responsible for getting the work done within the timelines agreed upon
  • NOT eligible for paid vacation
  • NOT entitled to employee perks such as (if applicable) group health benefits, professional development funds, etc.
  • NOT eligible for statutory leaves, holiday and benefits


The distinction between employees (salaried and hourly) and contractors is important.The decision whether to hire a staff member as an employee or a contractor has many different implications. Making sure you make the right call and ensuring that your internal practices are aligned with your decision is critical.

There are resources and tools to support employers in determining whether a staff member should be an employee or a contractor.

Once an assessment has been completed, it is important that all on-going practices are aligned with the original determination. If the needs of the organization change and, for example, a contractor is being asked to work more like an employee, the contractual relationship will need to be reviewed and a new assessment and determination completed.



There are occasions when a MSA or Physician Society has a staff member who is hired though a health authority or another external partner. On these occasions, these employees are subject to the terms and conditions of their employment contract with their employer (i.e., health authority or external partner). While these partnerships can be beneficial, they can cause confusion when staff who work side-by-side but are appointed through different organizations have differences in:

  • Compensation
  • Group Health Benefits
  • Paid Time Off
  • Employment practices related to:
    • Performance reviews
    • Leaves of absence
    • Vacation requests, etc.

It is important in these situations that all parties understand how this employment relationship will work and what are the differences in policy and practice between a MSA appointed and hired employee, and a MSA staff member hired through a health authority or external partner.



Should you have any additional questions or concerns regarding the topics covered in this HR Toolkit, please consult your Engagement Partner. The role of the Engagement Partner is as a strategic advisor in identifying appropriate staffing needs to achieve your organizational priorities in alignment with your Document of Intent (DOI) and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), as applicable.


When your human resources questions are more complex, it may be important to consult an external HR expert. HR consultants or employment lawyers can be hired on an hourly or project basis to meet your needs. Your Engagement Partner may have recommendations of companies who can support your needs.


This HR Toolkit is a living document and will be updated to reflect current legislation and best practice.

Recruitment & Hiring

The success of any organization is closely tied to the quality of its employees. An employer’s recruitment methods affect the individuals it hires, their performance and the retention and engagement rates of employees. Investing in a strong recruitment process will ensure you hire the right person for the position and your organization.

Appointment & Onboarding

Once you have received a signed employee agreement from your new hire, it is time to start preparing for the appointment and onboarding process. Appointment refers to collecting all of the critical information to set them up as an employee within your organization. Onboarding is the process of equipping new employees with the knowledge and skills necessary to become an effective team member.

Compensation & Benefits

Effective compensation programs are designed to support the organization in attracting and retaining high-calibre talent. Effective compensation strategies balance internal equity, external market, and ease of administration. It thinks about ‘total compensation’ and considers factors beyond salary to reward and retain employees. These may include benefits such as health coverage, paid time off, and/or retirement benefits; as well as non-quantifiable factors such as culture, recognition, flexible work arrangements and/or development opportunities.

Leaves of Absence

There are several types of leaves available to employees, as outlined in the federal and provincial Employment Standards Act and other related legislation. These are referred to as statutory leaves and are available to employees regardless of how long they have worked, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.

Performance Growth & Assessment

Performance management is an on-going process involving a series of activities to help employees succeed and attain organizational goals. It should not be relegated to a once-a-year annual review process. When done well, performance management is a conversation between the employee and their supervisor/manager that includes discussions about employee goals, expectations, hopes and visions, as well as clear and thoughtful feedback from the supervisor about strengths, areas of growth and opportunity.

Discipline & Termination

In the event that an employee’s conduct is so egregious and performance management is not resulting in a change in behavior, disciplinary measures and/or termination must be considered. As in all employment matters, the disciplinary process must be fair, constructive, and consistent. The objective process should be focused on resolving and addressing unacceptable conduct or performance.

Resignations & Retirements

This section discusses the process and procedures related to when an employee decides to end their employment with your organization. Unlike in a termination where the employee may or may not have notice in advance of their departure, employee-initiated resignations or retirements mean the organization has time to prepare and ensure a smooth transition of information, projects and relationships. This process of ensuring a smooth transition, organizational stability and supporting the final stage of an employee’s life cycle is called offboarding.

Occupational Health & Safety

Occupational Health and Safety refers to the requirements an employee and employer are expected to implement and follow to ensure organizational safety and well-being. In British Columbia, WorkSafeBC establishes the organizational standards that employers are expected to implement.

Workplace Policies

This chapter outlines policies and procedures that can support the governance and operational structure of your organization. The first section highlights two (2) policies that are required within your workplace – a bullying and harassment policy and a privacy policy – while subsequent sections provide suggestions of policies that you may want to consider for your workplace.