Working Wise | DrumhellerMail - Page #37
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Last updateTue, 23 Jul 2019 1pm

Are there employers who would consider hiring me to work from my home?

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I have been out of the work force for 10 years and want to re-enter the job market. I have clerical and bookkeeping experience. I also have some mobility issues and so I would prefer to work from home. Are there employers who would consider hiring me to work from my home? Signed, Aspiring Telecommuter

 

Dear Aspiring Telecommuter:

 

Yes, more and more employers are offering telecommuting options to their employees, because it’s a great, low-cost way to attract and retain good staff plus it saves employers money on office space and other related costs.

 

In fact, some employers have found that their telecommuting employees are actually more productive. Many telecommuters work harder than normal, because they feel like they have to prove they are working. Telecommuters also tend to be more productive, because they have fewer distractions (e.g., meetings, office parties, fire drills, water-cooler chat, etc.), but this of course depends on how disciplined they are.

 

Telecommuting can be a great way to fit work into your life or just avoid the long commute, but many home-office workers feel isolated and worry that they are overlooked when it comes to promotions and advancement opportunities. You should give this some careful thought before agreeing to work from home.

 

You could focus your job search on clerical/bookkeeping positions and then pitch the idea of telecommuting during the job interview. If the employer is still skeptical, you could suggest a three-month trial period to evaluate how the arrangement is working.

 

You could also try focusing your job search on companies and industries that lend themselves to telecommuting.

 

Telemarketing, collections, technical support, book keeping and research (surveying) jobs can all be done using only a telephone and computer. In fact, I know an executive who had an assistant that worked from home in the evenings. He said it was great. He emailed her work all day and when he came into the office in the morning, it was all done.

 

Be wary of “work from home” type jobs advertised on the Internet and other places. Some “employers” ask for an upfront training fee, exaggerate your earning potential, or require you to buy some special software. Up-front fees are a red flag and remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

 

You could also contact some local accounting, bookkeeping or temporary-employment firms to enquire about contract work you could do out of your home.

 

For more home-based business ideas, visit http://alis.alberta.ca and search the tip sheets for “telecommuting”.

 

If you do decide to work from home, you need to find out if you will be working as an employee or an independent contractor. Check out http://alis.alberta.ca/pdf/cshop/contractor.pdf if you want help clarifying your role.

 

If you are an employee, you need to find out who pays for what (e.g., telephone bill, computer equipment, Internet access, office supplies, etc.). Your employer may also have questions about the safety and security of your office, e.g., ergonomics and how you will protect the information you have.  

 

If you are an independent contractor, you need to check how running a home-based business could impact your home’s insurance, taxes, and zoning. You will also have to set up your office, including furniture, a phone with a good long-distance calling plan, plus a reliable computer with high-speed Internet access. Your client(s) may also be interested in how you will be storing and protecting their information.

 

Good luck!

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration. This column is provided for general information.

 


Does the company have to call me first to see if I want my job back before hiring anyone else?

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Dear Working Wise:

I was laid off from a company a few months ago and received two week of severance pay after working for them for two years. Does the company have to call me first to see if I want my job back before hiring anyone else? If so, and they have hired someone else, what are my options about getting my old job back? Signed, Eager to Work

 

Dear Eager:

 

I wish I could help you get your old job back, but it sounds like your employer has acted appropriately.

 

There is such a thing as a “temporary layoff”, when an employer wants to maintain the employment relationship with you and call you back as soon as there is work available. 

 

But it sounds to me from your letter that your employer terminated your employment.  You received severance pay, because your employer severed (terminated) your employment relationship.

 

Employers are not required to rehire former employees first.

 

Your employer also paid you an appropriate amount of termination pay. Anyone employed for between two and four years is entitled to a minimum of two weeks notice or two weeks of severance pay in lieu.

 

Temporary Layoffs

If your employer wanted to maintain the employment relationship—and lay you off temporarily—they would have been required to notify you in writing. Temporary layoff notices must include the effective date of the layoff and sections 62-64 of Alberta’s Employment Standards code, which govern temporary layoffs.

 

Temporary layoffs can not last more than 59 days in duration. On the 60th consecutive day of temporary layoff, the employment relationship terminates and the employer must pay the employee termination pay on that day unless:

·        wages or benefits continue to be paid on behalf of the employee; or

·        there is a collective agreement that provides recall rights longer than the 59 days.

 

Should the layoff extend past the 59 days, the employment terminates, and termination pay appropriate to the length of service of the employee is required. The only exception to the 59-day period applies to school employees and school-bus drivers.

 

Employees can be terminated while on temporary layoff, but they are entitled to termination pay.

 

Employees on temporary layoff can be called back to work with seven days written notice. Employees who fail to return to work within seven days of receiving written notice can be terminated without termination notice or pay.

 

The good news is that Alberta’s unemployment rate has come down over the past year and the number of job postings are on the rise. You are in a better position than many job seekers, because you have two years of experience working in a job you enjoy.

 

Drop by your nearest Labour Market Information Centre (LMIC) for help putting your valuable experience to work. LMIC staff can provide you with free career services, including: career planning, resume development, preparing for job interviews and links to employers who are hiring. The centre also offers free access to computers for job searches, fax machines, photocopiers, and telephones.

 

To find the LMIC nearest you, visit us online at: www.employment.alberta.ca/awoffices.

 

 

 

If you have any more questions about your situation, call Alberta Employment Standards toll-free at1-877-427-3731. This line is staffed by experts who can go into more detail with your case if you wish.

 

You can also review the Employment Standards Code for yourself by visiting our web site www.employment.alberta.ca/es and clicking on Safe and Fair Workplaces.

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration.

 

I’ve been looking for a job for two month. I have sent out some resumes, but I’m not having much luck. What else can I do? Signed, Want to Work

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Dear Working Wise:

I’ve been looking for a job for two month. I have sent out some resumes, but I’m not having much luck. What else can I do? Signed, Want to Work

 

Dear Want to Work:

 

Long job-searches can be disheartening, but don’t give up. Alberta’s unemployment rate has started to come down after a rocky couple of years, employers are starting to hire again, and there are thousands of jobs on the Canada-Alberta Job Bank.

 

Here are some ideas and tips to help you supercharge your job search and get back to work sooner.

 

Use your network. Let your network of friends and family along with your former colleagues, classmates, supervisors and supplier contacts know that you are looking for a new job. Some employers have stopped advertising job opportunities, but are still hiring.

Networking is a great way to tap into that hidden job market.

 

Send everyone you know an e-mail letting them know what kind of job you are looking for along with a quick summary of your skills, training and experience. Attach your resumé if you feel comfortable and don’t forget to update and clean up your social networking (e.g., Facebook) sites.

 

Register with recruitment agencies. Some employers have stopped advertising job opportunities and are relying on word-of-mouth and recruitment agencies. Agencies will not look for a job for you, but they will call you if you are a good match for a position they are recruiting for.

 

Registering with recruitment agencies is free, takes very little time, and is another great way to tap into the hidden job market. Some agencies specialize in specific occupations and industries and so it would be a good idea to figure out which agencies are the right ones for you.

 

Expand your job search. Many people make the mistake of limiting their job search to their specific occupation or industry. Take an inventory of your transferable skills—like organizational, computer, and time-management skills—and consider opportunities in related occupations and industries. For help identifying your transferable skills, visit the ALIS web site (http://alis.alberta.ca) and check out the tip sheets on skills. 

 

Polish your resumé. You have a resumé, but is it representing you as well as it should? Recruiters spend as little as 30 seconds glancing at your resumé—does yours scream “I’m perfect for this job”? Check out the resumé tips on the ALIS web site and put their free online Resumé Review service to work for you.

 

Attend job fairs. Did you know that there are job fairs happening all year long around the province? Check out upcoming job fairs near you at http://employment.alberta.ca/jobfairs and employer connections events at http://employment.alberta.ca/employerconnections.

 

Employment & Immigration is holding a first-ever province-wide virtual job fair on April 14. Flint Energy Services needs to hire more than 2,000 staff this year and will be holding a virtual job fair in Alberta Works offices located across the province. For more information, visit http://employment.alberta.ca/jobfairs.

 

And put your local Labour Market Information Centre (LMIC) to work for you—there are 40 throughout the province. These one-stop job-search centres boast professional career and employment counselors, books and workshops on resumés and job interviews, plus  helpful job-search tools, like computers with Internet access, fax machines and photocopiers. To find the LMIC nearest you, visit http://employment.alberta.ca/lmic.

 

Good luck!

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration. This column is provided for general information.


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