When you apply for a job posting there is often a wide variance between different jobs assigned to managers. It can be frustrating, even when working in a recruitment firm. Are you really applying for a true manager’s job? Even if the pay is acceptable, if you are not doing a true manager’s job it will not enable you to step to the next level of your career.

Manager Definition: The fundamental test determines whether the manager has significant autonomy, discretion, and authority in the business conduct. Certain contextual factors, such as the size of the organization, business activities, and the manager’s duties plays a part.  To be a manager in Canada there must be a level of control, and independence.

The legal definition of “manager” involves a complex analysis of facts and can affect the outcome of claims. Employees have rights that managers do not, including overtime pay and the right to file a complaint under the Canada Labour Code1.

In the case, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce v. Torre2, the Federal Court held a branch manager was not a manager at law, but an employee under the Canada Labour Code. This allowed Torre to file a complaint under the Canada Labour Code, for unjust dismissal.

A company cannot make an employee responsible for paperwork, or overseeing other employees a manager in an effort to protect themselves from needing to pay overtime, or having their rights limited by scheduling laws, payment laws, and claims.

For example, the person who stays late closing the till and setting out things for the next day is not the ‘night manager.’ They are an employee because there is no independence to make choices, and they are not in control. They are just working alone.

In the Torre case:

Torre’s work was structured and restricted by policies and directives issued by the employer.

It was mandatory that she consult the human resources department before dismissing employees.

She had no decision-making power regarding the budget, selecting initial candidates for job interviews, or determining the number of employees at her branch.

By the legal definition, Torre was a supervisor.

This can cause a major problem in the hospitality industry where candidates believe they are holding a manager’s role. After a few years they want to move up, and apply to a recruitment firm for help landing a manager’s job, only to learn they are not a qualified candidate.

This is why it is always important to take a pro active role in your career development.

If you want to ensure that you have a manager’s job in Canada then you need to ensure that your rights fall in the following:

  1. A manager hires, disciplines, and dismisses employees.
  2. this person is in charge of the budget within their organization or department.
  3. That person has the right to vary staff tasks, and restructure their department within the organization.

Just because a job posting lists a person as a manager, doesn’t mean they are under the Canadian labour code. But before causing dissention in your current job remember that Adjudicators include the manager’s actual roles and responsibilities, and how important they are.

Job Interview

There will be ample time in the job interview to ask what your tasks will be. A qualified candidate should make sure that their resume complies with a manager’s duties as outlined in the Canadian Labour board.

Think long term. In the short term it may be better to take a good paying supervisor’s job. Or a manger’s job that is in title only. But, thinking short term can have long term negative impact on your career development, and subsequently your wealth.





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