February 28, 2019 DOWNLOAD PDF

Recent Developments Regarding the Employment Standards Act

New Poster Published by the Ontario Ministry of Labour

Under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”), employers are required to post a poster that provides employees with information about minimum standards under the ESA, including information regarding minimum wage, hours of work and overtime, public holidays, vacation time and pay, and notice of termination.

Earlier in January 2019, the Ontario Ministry of Labour released the latest version of the ESA poster – version 8 – which contains changes from the prior version of the poster. Although the changes are relatively minor, it is essential for employers to ensure that they take steps to comply with the ESA, which includes posting the most recent poster in at least one conspicuous place in every workplace of the employer where it is likely to come to employees’ attention, and providing a copy of the poster to each new employee within 30 days of hire.

The ESA poster is available on the website of the Ontario Ministry of Labour in a variety of different languages, including French, Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Portuguese, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai and Urdu. A copy of the poster is available here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/posters-required-workplace#section-1

Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018

Last December 2018, the Ontario government introduced Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018. Bill 66 follows the enactment of Bill 47 which, as many employers will know, made a number of significant changes to the ESA.

Bill 66, if enacted, will introduce further changes to the ESA, including removing the requirement that Ontario employers post the ESA poster in the workplace. Bill 66 would not change the existing requirement that employers provide the poster to current employees and to each new employee within 30 days of their hire.

Other changes to the ESA that may become law through Bill 66 include:

  • Repealing the 60-hour per week cap and eliminating the requirement to obtain the approval of the Director of Employment Standards for employers to make agreements that allow employees to exceed 48 hours of work in a work week; and
  • Removing the requirement to obtain the approval of the Director of Employment Standards for employers to make agreements that allow them to average their employees’ hours of work for the purpose of determining employees’ entitlement to overtime pay.

With respect to its status, Bill 66 has passed the first reading and is currently in second reading debate.