Across Canada, provincial governments have begun lifting most of the COVID-19 related public health measures and employers are now grappling with what safety protocols to maintain for their workplaces given the recent shift towards a pre-pandemic “normal.”

In this In Focus video, our Labour and Employment lawyers explore considerations for employers before scrapping the restrictions

On February 14, 2022, the Ontario government announced that the province will be moving to the next phase of reopening earlier than anticipated, with further restrictions being eased on February 17, 2022 at 12:01 a.m.

The new measures include:

  • Increasing social gathering limits to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.
  • Increasing organized public event

On January 20, 2022 the Ontario government announced that the province will move to a modified Step 3 of the Roadmap to Reopen, pursuant to Ontario Regulation 25/22 Rules for Areas at Step 3 (the “Step 3 Regulation“).

The changes include:

  • Increasing social gathering limits to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

Our two-part webinar series was designed to bring Canadian in-house counsel and human resources leaders up to speed on the top labour, employment and human rights law developments of 2021 and to prepare them for what’s on the horizon in 2022.

Using our “quick hits” format, we provided two content-rich presentations complete with practical takeaways

We are pleased to share with you the CTV News Toronto interview, “Mulling the idea of mandatory vaccination.” Kevin Coon addresses implementing mandatory vaccinations across the country.

Click here to watch the interview.

This interview was originally posted in CTV News Toronto.

To wrap up 2021, we have highlighted key developments in Canadian labour and employment law, with a focus on Ontario:

  1. Bill 27 – Working for Workers Act: On December 2, 2021, the Ontario government passed the Working for Workers Act, 2021 (the “Act“), which introduces significant changes to Ontario’s employment law, including:
    • A Right to Disconnect from Work Policies: Employers subject to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA“) with 25 or more employees must have a written policy which outlines employees’ right to disconnect from work. The term “disconnecting from work” means not engaging in work-related communications (e.g. emails, calls) and not sending or reviewing any messages, so that employees are free from the performance of work outside of normal working hours. Employers have six months from December 3, 2021 to implement the policy.
    • No Non-Compete Agreements: Employers subject to the ESA are prohibited from entering into non-compete agreements with employees. Non-compete agreements are those that prohibit the employee from working for or running a competitive business after the employment relationship has ended.

There is an exception to the prohibition on non-competition agreements in the event of a sale or lease of a business and for executive-level employees.

This amendment to the ESA is deemed to be in force as of October 25, 2021, and all non-compete agreements entered into before this date will remain unaffected. Non-solicitation, confidentiality, and assignment of intellectual property agreements are still permissible.

The Act brings about a number of additional changes that will be relevant for employers, which are fully summarized here.

Continue Reading Top 10 Canadian Labour & Employment Law Developments of 2021

Background

The federal government passed Bill C-3, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Canada Labour Code on December 17, 2021. While Bill C-2 focused on providing support for reasons specifically related to COVID-19, Bill C-3 enhances paid sick leave and bereavement leave under the Canada Labour Code (the “CLC”) not specific to

Background

Just before the end of 2021, the Canadian Government passed Bill C-2, An Act to provide further support in response to COVID-19. Amongst other things, the Bill introduced the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit Act, amended eligibility requirements under the Canada Recovery Benefits Act, and amended the Canada Labour Code to update

On January 3rd, 2022, the Ontario government announced that, in response to the dangers of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, the province is temporarily moving back into a modified Step Two of its Roadmap to Reopen. This is effective Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at 12:01 a.m., and will last for at least 21 days, subject