Recommendations on Employment Standards
In review of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and the Labour Relations Act, 1995, the Ministry of Labour is considering legislative changes to address today’s modern workplace. The 419-page Report to address the Changing Workplaces Review, contains 173 recommendations – approximately 140 of which relate to the Employment Standards Act. The review places strong emphasis on compliance measures to achieve a “culture of decency and compliance” in Ontario workplaces. This marks the largest review of Ontario’s labour laws that’s been conducted in decades.
How does the Ministry of Labour enforce compliance?
The Ministry of Labour enforces compliance with the Employment Standards Act and the Employment Protections for Foreign Nationals Act, 2009 (EPFNA). This is regulated through claim investigations, proactive inspections, and if necessary, prosecutions.
Did you know?
From April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017, 15,498 claims were investigated. These claims were filed against an employer, alleging a violation of the ESA; these included:
- Payment of Wages
- Employee Termination Pay
- Vacation Entitlement and Pay
- Overtime Pay
- Public Holiday Entitlement and Pay
[source: Ministry of Labour]
In response to the Changing Workplaces Review, the Government of Ontario has proposed legislative changes to the province’s Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act. With a strong focus on updating employment standards, Ontario employers should prepare for a number of major changes that are expected to impact their business. The proposed changes to basic employment standards include:
- Minimum wage increases
- Equal pay for equal work provisions: casual, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees
- Termination of assignment
- Overtime pay
- Employee misclassification
- Joint liability
- Paid vacation
- Public holiday pay
- Paid emergency leave
- Leave for the death of a child and for crime-related disappearance
- Family medical leave
- Physician notes for absences
- Paying employees
- Employee contact
- Penalties for non-compliance of the ESA
- Interest on unpaid wages
- Electronic Agreements
If passed, some of these changes will come into effect as early as January 1, 2018. To prepare, use our infographic on the 10 Changes to the Employment Standards Act (ESA). We’re here to help you.