Electronic-only copies of policies

Can an employer give all the necessary information to new hires on a USB stick instead of on paper?
By Brian Johnston
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 08/24/2011

Question: We’re looking into giving new hires a USB stick instead of a large paper package with all the necessary information (benefits/policies) and have them sign a document stating they have received the USB stick, they have access to a computer and it is their responsibility to review the material on their own time. Are you aware of anyone else using this practice and are there any foreseeable legal issues?

Answer: I am not aware of anyone giving USB sticks to new hires, but many employers do not provide hard copies of policies, instead relying on their intranet. Providing a USB stick is not dissimilar.

In any event, having benefit information provided in this way is not a problem. However, it may be an issue if this is the sole way in which policies (particularly those that may give rise to discipline) are communicated.