Benoit first nation mi’kmaw band














February 06, 2019





























Dear employee,


We are pleased to welcome you to the Benoit First Nation team.


This is a good opportunity to provide you with a copy of our EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK, which will help you get off to a good start.  The objectives of this Handbook are to give you an overview of our organization and the human resources practices of our band, and to ensure the efficiency of our operations and the harmony of our team.


This Handbook contains the following:

§      Benoit First Nation info

§      Working Conditions Handbook

§      Band Council Rules and Regulations

§      Code of Ethics


All employees, whether seasoned or new, may occasionally need to consult our Employee Handbook.  This document is intended as an easy-to-use reference tool containing the answers to your main concerns.  If you cannot find what you are looking for, please feel free to pass your questions on to our HR department. We will be pleased to supplement the information in our Handbook and provide you additional details.


Finally, the Employee Handbook is an evolving document that will be adapted as appropriate to reflect cultural and organizational changes within our first nation, as well as the modifications that are constantly being made to government regulations.


Since it is difficult to anticipate and list all situations that might arise in the course of your work, our handbook makes broad reference to the NL Labour Standards Act.



On behalf of the whole team, welcome to Benoit First Nation.







CEO-Vice-Chief Barbra Benoit


We are a Mi’kmaw community whose goal is to bring prosperity to our band members through traditional values, elder guidance, infrastructure development and cultural advancement.



OUR mission

To bring Mi’kmaq education, traditions, culture and history to our Mi’kmaw region




Respect for our community, families and elders



§  Teamwork: Our development is based on our employees’ involvement and collaboration; we establish structures that encourage dialogue as a way of implementing best practices.


§  Respect: To preserve a climate that is conducive to workplace well-being, it is vital that we treat our colleagues and customers with respect and fairness, while also being sensitive to each individual’s needs.


§  Innovation: To remain competitive, we strive to encourage new ideas by maintaining an ongoing improvement process. We believe in human potential and in the constant improvement of our processes.


§  Occupational health and safety: As a responsible band council, we ensure that every member of the team is committed to promoting and creating a working environment that is safe under all circumstances.  This approach is the best way to ensure ongoing improvement in workplace health and safety.


§  Statement of philosophy: Benoit First Nation wishes to maintain a work environment that fosters personal and professional growth for all band members and employees. Maintaining such an environment is the responsibility of every staff person. Because of their role, managers and supervisors have the additional responsibility to lead in a manner which fosters an environment of respect for each person.






All new employees to Benoit First Nation shall receive an orientation session which will encompass an overview of general policies, procedures and operations.  This will also provide employees, new to either a position or to Benoit First Nation, an opportunity to learn the performance expectations management has with regard to the position in question.  You will be given a copy of this Employee Handbook and will be expected to learn its contents.


Before being classified as a permanent employee of the band council, each new employee must work for a probationary period lasting three calendar months.  During this period, the band council reserves the right to terminate a worker’s employment without notice if his/her work is deemed unsatisfactory.  The employee may also resign without giving prior notice.


During the probationary period, employees are not eligible for a salary review or for participation in the employee benefits program.  Employees will however, be compensated for any statutory holidays and vacation pay during this period (if employed for more than 30 days) as per the NL Labour Standards Act requirements.




The wages of every employee are determined before he/she is hired. Management establishes the amount in accordance with the applicable pay scales and taking into consideration the tasks to be executed and the employee’s relevant recognized experience.


Furthermore, Benoit First Nation is an equal opportunity employer and employs personnel without regard to race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, language, citizenship, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, physical and/or mental handicap or financial ability, while remaining alert and sensitive to the issue of fair and equitable treatment for all. We also offer preference to indigenous people.


Each employee must provide a void cheque or a direct deposit form so that his/her pay can be deposited in the appropriate bank account.  The pay period is weekly.  The pay is deposited to this bank account on Fridays and covers a one-week period from Sunday to Saturday.


Each employee will receive a pay stub when his/her wages are paid. If the pay statement contains any errors or the employee has any questions about it, he/she must contact the Payroll clerk at 709-757-9444.


An annual salary adjustment may or may not be made, depending on the employee’s job appraisal and the band council’s financial performance.




Performance Appraisals


§  The performance review document will be a living document for each employee.  Each employee will be responsible for developing their respective work plan for their work term.  This plan will be reviewed by Management and amended as necessary.  At the time of the performance appraisal, the employer and employee will review the objectives and the results achieved.  Throughout the year, the employee and employer may refer to this document to track progress made toward objectives, highlight areas of concern and indicate challenges identified along the way.


Personnel File


§  Benoit First Nation does collect personal information for inclusion in personnel files.  This information is available to the employee and management.  This information is kept in a secure location, and is not shared with members of our community.  Information which is contained in an employee’s personnel file includes the following: résumé, letter of offer, performance reviews, amendments to job descriptions, disciplinary notices, tax forms, copies of enrolment forms for benefits and approved leave requests.


Recruitment and Selection

All employment opportunities at Benoit First Nation are posted for a minimum 14 working day period.  They are posted social media and on the websites of affiliated organizations such as NLJobs.  Occasionally, they are posted on employment websites or with an employment agency.  Also posted in all public locations on their notice boards.


Applicants are invited to submit their application, along with a current résumé, demonstrating that they meet the minimum criteria for the position being sought.  At the closing date, all applications are screened, and candidates selected for interview are contacted.  If the interview outcome is positive, references will be contacted.  Depending on the feedback provided, a position may be offered to the applicant. 



The employer contributes to all mandatory deductions as provided for by law that includes E.I., Canada Pension and Income Tax.



§  Sask Pension – Benoit First Nation offers its employees an additional pension plan provided by Saskatchewan Pension.  These benefits are by voluntary enrollment after three months of employment, employees are enrolled in the plan and may select the amount of contribution as required.  Employees can choose the amount of weekly contribution.  Currently, this is done by way of payroll deduction.  Any questions can be reviewed with our payroll clerk at 709-757-9444.





§  Every employee is provided with a time sheet.  This sheet is required for calculating his/her wages and for corporate record-keeping.  Consequently, it must stay at its designated location, be handled carefully and not be used by any person other that the employee whose name appears on it.  The time sheet must be filled in by the employee.




The standard work week is 40 hours, Monday through Friday. The standard work day starts at 9 a. m. and ends at 5 p. m. Employees are entitled to 2 breaks of 15 minutes at10 am and 3 pm each day and one30 minute lunch break per standard work day at noon. These may change depending on the parameters of the program funding received. For example, a student may only be working for 30 or 35 hours per week.

Open ended clause(s):


§  The work schedule may change temporarily to accommodate the band council’s summer activity schedule.

§  The regular work hours may not be the same for all employees, depending on the type or location of the work that is assigned to them.  In such instances, the working conditions are detailed in the employee’s contract.

§  Some positions may be seasonal, temporary or specified in a term-contract.


AbsenceS and LATENESS

Employees are expected to follow the work schedule that has been assigned to them.  Benoit First Nation expects all employees to arrive on time for the start of their work shift and return punctually from breaks.


Employees are sometimes required to be absent from, or late for, work.  Benoit First Nation has provided a procedure for such cases to ensure that all staff are treated fairly.  Employees are responsible for advising their Supervisor of any absence or lateness as soon as possible before the start of their work shift so that the supervisor can make the necessary replacement arrangements and maintain good continuity of the department’s activities.  Unauthorized or excessive absences may result in the imposition of disciplinary measures by management, depending on the seriousness of the situation and or including dismissal.


§  Disciplinary Measures

§  Departure(s) including termination, resignation and layoff

§  Talking circle to identify and resolve issues

§  Employer property; Upon termination of employment for any reason, all items of any kind created or used pursuant to the employee’s service or furnished by the employer including but not limited to computers, reports, files, diskettes, manuals, literature, confidential information or other materials shall remain and be considered the exclusive property of the Employer at all times, and shall be surrendered to their supervisor, in good condition, promptly and without being requested to do so.




Employees could occasionally be required to work overtime in order to meet program schedules.  When this occurs, your supervisor will discuss the business needs with the employees in question.  Overtime hours will be paid per the NL Labour Standards Act.


Employees are not authorized to approve their own overtime; therefore, all work which they perform outside the usual schedule must receive prior approval from their immediate supervisor.




The paid statutory holidays are listed below:

§  New Year’s Day

§  Good Friday

§  Discovery Day

§  Orangemen’s Day

§  Labour Day

§  Remembrance Day

§  Christmas Day


Statutory holidays are paid as follows:

An employer shall not require an employee to work under a contract of service on a public holiday.

§  (2)  An employer shall pay to an employee the wages to which the employee would be entitled for work performed during a public holiday notwithstanding that no work is performed by the employee during that public holiday.

§   (3)  The wages to which an employee is entitled under subsection (2) shall be calculated by multiplying the employee's hourly rate of pay by the average number of hours worked in a day by the employee in the 3 weeks immediately preceding the holiday.




Vacation entitlement are as follows:

Vacation pay

§  Where subsection 8(1) or (1.1) does not apply, the employee is not entitled as of right to an annual vacation, but the employer shall pay to the employee, on or before the times specified in subsection (2),

                  (a)  to an employee who has completed 15 years of continuous employment with the same employer, 6%; or

                  (b)  to an employee who has completed less than 15 years of continuous employment with the same employer, 4%         of the total wages earned by the employee for the hours worked by the employee within the continuous 12-month period, or until the cessation of employment of the employee within the 12 month period.

§  The sums required to be paid by the employer under subsection (1) shall be paid within 1 week after the termination of the continuous 12-month period, or the date of cessation of employment.

§  Payment is not required to be made by an employer under this section unless the employee has been employed by the employer for 5 consecutive work days or more.

§  The record of employment given by an employer to an employee shall include the amount of vacation pay that has been paid during the pay period beginning on the day after the last pay day and ending in the current pay day.



Years of Service

Vacation Entitlement

Vacation Pay

1 year to less than 15 years

2 weeks


More than 15 years

3 weeks






Maternity and parental leave entitlement are as follows:

Pregnancy leave

§  A pregnant employee who has been employed under a contract of service with the same employer for a period of 20 consecutive weeks immediately before the expected birth date is entitled to a leave of absence without pay.

§   An employee may begin pregnancy leave no earlier than 17 weeks before the expected birth date.

§   An employee shall give her employer

          (a)  at least 2 weeks written notice of the date the leave is to begin; and

          (b)  a certificate from a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner stating the estimated birth date.

Parental Leave

§  An employee who has been employed under a contract of service with the same employer for at least 20 consecutive weeks and who is the parent of a child is entitled to a leave of absence without pay following

(a)  the birth of the child; or

 b)  the coming of the child into the care and custody of the parent for the 1st time.

§   Parental leave may begin no more than 35 weeks after the day the child is born or comes into the care and custody of a parent for the 1st time.

§  The parental leave of an employee who takes pregnancy leave shall begin when the pregnancy leave ends unless the child has not yet come into the care and custody of the parent for the 1st time.

§   An employee shall give his or her employer at least 2 weeks written notice of the date the leave is to begin.



Sick leave entitlement are as follows:

Bereavement and sick leave

§  An employee, having been employed under a contract of service with the same employer for a continuous period of at least 30 days, shall be granted by his or her employer a period of bereavement leave consisting of one day paid leave and 2 days unpaid leave in the event of the death of the spouse, a child, a grandchild, the mother, father, a brother or sister, a grandparent or a mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law or son-in-law of the employee.

§  The wages to which an employee is entitled under subsection (1) shall be calculated by multiplying the employee's hourly rate of pay by the average number of hours worked in a day in the 3 weeks immediately preceding the bereavement leave.

§  An employee who is not entitled to bereavement leave under subsection (1) shall be granted a period of bereavement leave consisting of 2 days unpaid leave in the event of the death of a relative referred to in that subsection.

§  Where an employee who is entitled to one day paid bereavement leave is taking an annual vacation at the time he or she would otherwise have taken the day of bereavement leave, the employee is entitled to take one extra day of annual vacation.

Sick and family responsibility leave

§  An employee, having been employed under a contract of service with the same employer for a continuous period of 30 days, shall be granted by his or her employer a period of 7 days unpaid sick leave or family responsibility leave in a year.

(2)  An employee shall provide his or her employer with a certificate of a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner for a period of 3 or more consecutive days of unpaid sick leave.

(3)  An employee shall provide his or her employer with a statement in writing of the nature of the family responsibility where the leave is of 3 or more consecutive days in duration.

(4)  An unused portion of the period of leave provided for in this section expires at the end of the year in which it was granted.





Using the Internet and social media

The Internet and social media may be used during work hours only for purposes of carrying out job-related requirements and responsibilities.  When the Internet and social media are used for work purposes, employees must act in a professional manner while also abiding by the organization’s Code of Conduct.  It is forbidden to play video games during work hours or to surf inappropriate and offensive websites.


Using personal mobile devices

Using personal mobile devices during work hours is not allowed since doing so could adversely impact the productivity of employees, their departments and the band council.  For all family emergencies, employees are encouraged to share the business’ landline number with family and friends.


Using computer software

Computer software must be approved by your supervisor and be compatible with the technological options chosen by the band council and must always be accompanied by a user license.


Other considerations:


§  Travel expenses, only when approved by the Supervisor and per provincial rates

§  Meal and accommodation expenses – only when approved by supervisor and per provincial rates

§  Professional appearance code:

§  Professionalism - When representing Benoit First Nation staff should dress and behave appropriately.  Employees should choose to dress in a manner which presents a professional image to the public and is respectful of others. Traditional clothing styles are incouraged.  Use of profanity is neither professional nor respectful to co-workers and will not be tolerated.

§  Professional Development – as per Supervisor recommendation and employee requirement.

§  Confidential Information and Intellectual Property – must be secured and protected at all times.

§  IT Information Storage and Security – all Benoit First Nation digital information is protected by law and must not be shared.

§  Scent Policy – employees are to be mindful of co-workers who may have allergies to scents.

§  Smoke Free Environment - Smoking in the offices of Benoit First Nation is not permitted at any time. To do so is to break the law.  An ‘enclosed workplace’ is defined as the inside of any place, building or structure or conveyance or a part of any of them that a) is covered by a roof or b) employees work in or frequent during the course of their employment whether or not they are acting in the course of their employment at the time, and c) is not primarily a private dwelling




Our band council has adopted values that will allow us to achieve our growth objectives while also promoting general workplace well-being.  These values must be upheld by each and every one of us.  The Band Council cannot, therefore, tolerate any conduct that contravenes these community values.  Below is the Code of Ethics by which all employees – workers and managers alike – must abide.  We encourage you to inform your Supervisor of any conduct that is illegal or contrary to the Code of Ethics.  The band council is committed to protecting employees against all forms of reprisals.


It is the responsibility of all staff to:

§  Foster cooperation and communication among each other

§  Treat each other in a fair manner, with dignity and respect

§  Promote harmony and teamwork in all relationships

§  Strive for mutual understanding of standards for performance expectations, and communicate routinely to reinforce that understanding

§  Encourage and consider opinions of other employees or members, and invite their participation in decisions that affect their work and their careers

§  Encourage growth and development of employees by helping them achieve their personal goals in our community and beyond

§  Seek to avoid workplace conflict, and if it occurs, respond fairly and quickly to provide the means to resolve, including the use of healing circles. it

§  Administer all policies equitably and fairly, recognizing that jobs are different, but each is important; that individual performance should be recognized and measured against predetermined standards; and that each employee has the right to fair treatment and to beshown respect.

§  Recognize that employees in their personal lives may experience crisis and show compassion and understanding




Benoit First Nation expects staff to abide by certain rules and regulations in order to create a positive working environment for everyone.  Employees are also required to follow the rules, regulations and guidelines laid out in this Handbook and communicated within the workplace.


Band Council equipment and assets


§  Use of the Benoit First Nation equipment/space for personal reasons during work hours is not acceptable.

§  Use of the Benoit First Nation equipment/space for personal reasons outside work hours must receive approval from Management.

§  Any use of assets belonging to the band council away from the business’ location must be approved by Management.

§  Employees will not falsify files, documents, time sheets and activity reports or tamper with equipment.

§  Fundraising activities on the employer’s property requires prior approval from Management.

§  Benoit First Nation and its assets are protected by security camera surveillance.


Health & Safety


The employer and senior management of Benoit First Nation are vitally interested in the health and safety of its workers.  Protection of workers from injury or occupational disease is a major continuing objective.


Benoit First Nation will make every effort to provide a safe, healthy work environment.  All employers, supervisors and workers must be dedicated to the continuing objective of reducing risk of injury.


Benoit first Nation, as employer, is ultimately responsible for worker health and safety.  As Chief of Benoit First Nation, I give you my personal commitment that I will comply with my duties under the Act, such as taking every reasonable precaution for the protection of workers in the workplace.


Supervisors will be held accountable for the health and safety of workers under their supervision. Supervisors are subject to various duties in the workplace, including the duty to ensure that machinery and equipment are safe and that workers work in compliance with established safe work practices and procedures.


Every worker must protect his/her own health and safety by working in compliance with the law and with safe work practices and procedures established by the employer.  Workers will receive information, training and competent supervision in their specific work tasks to protect their health and safety.


It is in the best interest of all parties to consider health and safety in every activity.  Commitment to health and safety must form an integral part of this organization, from the leadership to the workers.




Benoit First Nation has a ZERO TOLERANCE policy regarding threats, verbal or physical violence/harassment/bullying towards colleagues, management, clients or representatives of the employer.


The management of Benoit First Nation is committed to the prevention of workplace violence/harassment/bullying and is ultimately responsible for worker health and safety.  We will take whatever steps are reasonable to protect our workers from workplace violence/harassment/bullying from all sources.


Violent behaviour, harassment and bullying in the workplace is unacceptable from anyone.   This policy applies to all.  Everyone is expected to uphold this policy and to work together to prevent workplace violence.


There is a workplace violence/harassment/bullying program that implements this policy.  It includes measures and procedures to protect workers from workplace violence/harassment/bullying, a means of summoning immediate assistance and a process for workers to report incidents or raise concerns.


Benoit First Nation, as the employer, will ensure this policy and the supporting program are implemented and maintained.  All workers and supervisors will receive appropriate information and instruction on the contents of the policy and program.


Supervisors will adhere to this policy and the supporting program. Supervisor are responsible for ensuring that measures and procedures are followed by workers and that workers have the information they need to protect themselves.


Every worker must work in compliance with this policy and the supporting program.  All workers are encouraged to raise any concerns about workplace violence/harassment/bullying and to report any violent incidents or threats.


Management pledges to investigate and deal with all incidents and complaints of workplace violence/harassment/bullying in a fair and timely manner, respecting the privacy of all concerned as much as possible.



Dispute Resolution


Regrettably, conflict can occur in any working environment.  In an effort to resolve conflict in an expedient, yet fair manner, Benoit First Nation recommends the following process for conflict or dispute resolution.

§  Speak to the person you are having the dispute with.  Many times disputes arise due to misunderstandings and miscommunications.

§  If speaking to the individual does not work, speak to the Supervisor.  They will arrange a talking circle between those involved in the dispute, to determine a resolution.

§  If at this level, a resolution is unattainable, the parties may be referred to mediation by an outside third party.  The resolution of the mediator is binding on both parties of the dispute.












I, _____________________________, attest that I have read the Employee Handbook and its various components, including the following:


§     Conflict of Interest Guidelines

§     Band Council Rules and Regulations

§     Health & Safety policies



I acknowledge having received all the relevant information that I needed in order to have a good understanding of the content and scope of this Handbook.






Employee’s signature                                                                                  Date






Supervisor’s signature                                                                 Date


Please sign this letter and give it to your Supervisor.


Copyright © Benoit First Nation