Workplace Safety & Insurance

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

Background

In October 2021, the Quebec Government passed Bill 59, An Act to modernize the occupational health and safety regime. The Bill makes substantive changes to statutes involving health and safety in the workplace. These changes will gradually come into effect, with some already in force since October and others coming into force from

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

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

On December 9, 2021, the Ontario Government filed a regulation that extended the COVID-19 Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (“Deemed IDEL“) and the temporary measures previously introduced by O. Reg. 228/20: Infectious Disease Emergency Leave under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA“) until July 30, 2022. Further details

And we thought 2020 was a doozy! In terms of continuing challenges, unprecedented questions and shifting legal landscapes, 2021 delivered.

Between maintaining business continuity and keeping your workforce safe, we know there’s been little time to track the rapidly changing labour, employment, and human rights law landscape in Canada.

This two-part webinar series is designed

As companies call employees back to the physical workplace, more employers are electing to implement mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies to keep employees safe. In turn, some employees are seeking accommodations for disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs that may prevent them from being vaccinated. What should Canadian employers keep top of mind when handling these

On October 22nd, 2021, the Ontario government announced its plan to gradually lift all public health and workplace safety measures by March, 2022. The plan will be guided by public health indicators, including those tracking new COVID-19 variants, increases in hospitalizations, ICU occupancy and rapid increases in transmission.

Provisional Timeline for Removing COVID-19 Restrictions:

    • October

When world economies face challenges, employment litigation claims of all types arise. In this In Focus video, our Labour and Employment lawyers discuss the range of trending COVID-19 related employment claims and cases and share what Canadian employers can do to best position themselves to manage impending litigation.

Click here to watch the video.