North Horizon Immigration Consulting

Background

For over six years, North Horizon Immigration Consulting has been helping families and businesses successfully set themselves up in Canada. The Vancouver-based company provides its clients with customized advice and guides them through the complex immigration process.

North Horizon Immigration Consulting has been a Peninsula client since February 2020.

Challenges

Owner and immigration consultant Rita Benkhalti says she first heard about Peninsula’s services during a presentation at a networking event at the Francophone Chamber of Commerce in Vancouver.

“I could relate a 100% to everything the presenter was saying about the risks that businesses can face,” says Rita. “As I was going through a situation with an ex-employee of the company.”

One of her employees who had taken maternity leave did not want to return on the existing terms of employment. It was not viable for Rita to hire her on different terms.

“I gave her what she needed to be paid and a little bit more as a thank you,” says Rita. “But this person became completely hostile. She sent me a long letter from a lawyer explaining how I had infringed human rights, and this was discrimination and a lot of other things. The bill she thought that I owed her was over $40,000,” Rita says.

After speaking to lawyers, Rita had realized there were a lot of gaps in the contracts she had been using. “They didn’t have all of the clauses that would protect me in the event that an employee wasn’t satisfied with anything.”

Rita had to hire a lawyer to deal with this matter. “She [The employee] was just trying to intimidate me to get more money out of me,” says Rita. “I had already paid her more than the minimum requirements. She had no grounds to claim human rights abuse,” says Rita.

Though the employee backed off, the episode had been distressing. Not to mention, the costly lawyer fees Rita had to pay. “Had I used Peninsula from the beginning, when starting to hire people, I wouldn’t have got into this situation in the first place,” she says.

Rita says she is very pleased with Peninsula’s quick and friendly service. “Not only the contracts, and HR support but even the BrightHR platform (Peninsula’s online portal for HR management), where things are transparent, everything is in place and nothing gets lost,” says Rita.

The round-the-clock availability of HR guidance through Peninsula’s employer advice line is a big plus as well.

“As the company owner, I know each step of the way what I am [legally] allowed to do. If I want to do something different, this is how it is done. That prevents a lot of problems,” she says.

“The tools that Peninsula has put in place as a prevention mechanism help all around for a better relationship with my employees,” says Rita.

COVID-19

Rita says Peninsula has helped her navigate the chaos that followed the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was really good to be able to just call and have the HR assistance,” she says. “Before COVID-19, we had a staff of 7, including myself. When the crisis started, I needed to lay off employees. So, I called Peninsula and asked if I could do that? It turned out that I couldn’t since my contracts hadn’t been switched to the Peninsula contracts [with layoff clause] yet. They told me I’d have to terminate them, and sent me the necessary documents,” says Rita.

A few months later when Rita wanted to rehire some of her staff, she reached out to Peninsula. “Now I am using all of Peninsula’s documents. It is great,” she says.

Rita also finds Peninsula’s attendance logging app, Blip, to be especially useful now that all her employees are working from home.

“People just scan the code and log in and log out from their homes. And then at the end of two weeks when I am going to do their paychecks, I can see how many hours they have worked,” she says.

The Peninsula Service

Rita says Peninsula has saved her thousands of dollars in lawyer fees or software fees.

“Peninsula has helped me organize my Human Resources in a way that I could not have done on my own. I feel organized, professional and protected. The services also enhance the working experience of my employees as all the HR guidelines are clear, transparent and positive,” she says.

“I recommend this company to anyone who has a business in Canada,” says Rita.

THEY SAID

Peninsula has helped me organize my Human Resources in a way that I could not have done on my own. I recommend this company to anyone who has a business in Canada.

Rita Benkhalti, owner, North Horizon Immigration Consulting

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