To ensure Ontario employers are up-to-date, we outline two new developments affecting businesses operating during the COVID-19 pandemic below, including:

  • the implementation of enhanced COVID-19 outbreak protocols for workplaces in the City of Toronto; and
  • revisions to the COVID-19 screening tool required for Ontario employees.

Continue Reading COVID-19 Update: Ontario Screening Requirements & Toronto Workplace Outbreak Protocols

In November 2020, Ontario updated its regulations under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, requiring businesses in certain designated public health zones to develop a “safety plan” in response to COVID-19. Since then, the Ontario government’s guidance has been updated, and safety plan requirements have been extended to businesses in all public health zones, including those in “Green-Prevent Zones” and “Lockdown Zones”. Continue Reading Ontario’s COVID-19 “Safety Plans” for Businesses

This is an update to our recent blog post summarizing Ontario’s required COVID-19 workplace screening tool for businesses.

To recap, the Ontario Government requires most Ontario businesses and organizations to implement particular workplace screening questions, requiring workers and essential visitors to complete a medical questionnaire before entering the workplace each day. These requirements have been established under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.

Ontario recently updated the workplace screening questions for businesses. You can find the updated questions here. The new version of the screening tool can be completed either online or on-site before the worker enters the workplace. Continue Reading Ontario Revises COVID-19 Workplace Screening Requirements for Businesses

On January 12, 2021, the Government of Ontario declared a second state of emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, the government issued a province-wide Stay-at-Home Order and amended O. Reg. 82/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 1 (“Stage 1 Rules”) to introduce stricter lockdown measures starting January 14, 2021. Continue Reading Ontario Declares Second State of Emergency and Announces New Public Health Restrictions

To ring in the New Year, we highlight the ten most significant developments in Canadian labour and employment law in 2020. Continue Reading Top 10 Canadian Labour & Employment Law Developments of 2020

Last week, the Ontario Government amended O.Reg. 228/20 to extend deemed infectious disease emergency leave (“IDEL”) under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA“) from January 2, 2021 to July 3, 2021. Continue Reading Deemed Infectious Disease Emergency Leave Further Extended to July 3, 2021

Last week, the federal government passed Bill C-44, Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1 (“Bill C-44″), introducing a new administrative monetary penalty system under Part IV of the Canada Labour Code (the “Code“) and broadening the authority of inspectors, among other things. Continue Reading Increased Inspection Powers and New Administrative Penalty System under Canada Labour Code

Last week, the Government of Canada passed the Regulations Amending the Employment Equity Regulations (the “Amended Regulations“) introducing new pay transparency measures, effective January 1, 2021. The Amended Regulations aim to clarify and improve the data gathering processes that govern the reporting of salary data by federally regulated employers with 100 or more employees. Continue Reading Regulations Amending the Employment Equity Regulations Create Additional Salary Reporting Obligations on Federally Regulated Employers

Last week, the Ontario government passed its latest budget bill, Bill 229: Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020 (“Bill 229”). Bill 229 implements initiatives contained in Ontario’s 2020 budget through amendments to existing statutes.

Amendments to key employment statutes include:

Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019:

Bill 229 amended Bill 124: The Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019 (“Bill 124”) to clarify the moderation period for a group of non-union employees who are certified by a trade union after June 5, 2019, or to a group of unionized employees who decertify. In short, where employees have already commenced their moderation period before the change in status, they will get credit for the time spent in their moderation period before their change in status. If they have not commenced their moderation period before the change in status, then the 3-year moderation period will apply under their new status.

Further, the Management Board of Cabinet can now issue directives requiring employers to provide information related to collective bargaining compensation for compliance purposes. Under this provision, the Management Board of Cabinet has the authority to withhold funds from the employer or employers’ organization if a directive is not complied with, and contains measures that might result in the forfeiture of any withheld funds.

Employer Health Tax Act:

Back in March, the government temporarily increased the Employer Health Tax (“EHT”) exemption for 2020 from $490,000 to $1 million. Bill 229 amended the legislation to make this permanent. The EHT exemption will be adjusted according to inflation in 2028, following which it will be adjusted for inflation every 5 years. The Ontario government also amended the Act to increase the installment threshold from $600,000 to 1.2 million for the 2021 tax year. Under this new installment threshold, all employers would only be required to remit monthly installments when their payroll reaches $1.2 million.

Pension Benefits Act:

In 2010, the government amended the Pension Benefits Act to include a target benefits framework, among other things. These provisions were never proclaimed into force and were subject to automatic repeal under Ontario’s Legislation Act after 10 years, on December 31, 2020. Bill 229 re-enacted the target benefits provisions, but these provisions will come into force on a future date to be proclaimed by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

Other noteworthy provisions that have now been automatically repealed under the Legislation Act include provisions relating to phased retirement and the requirement to provide advance notice for plan amendments.

Many thanks to Dorna Zaboli for her assistance in drafting this article.

2020 has posed unprecedented challenges for Canadian Employers. We know that in addition to keeping your employees safe and maintaining business continuity, it’s a challenge to keep track of all the changes to the employment law landscape in Canada.

These two, 60 minute virtual sessions are designed to help you stay abreast of what changed in 2020 and be prepared for what’s on the horizon in 2021.

We will review the key developments impacting Canadian employers and provide practical tips for navigating the new normal. Among other topics, you will hear about:

    • COVID-specific laws applicable to Canadian employers
    • Navigating leaves of absence and the duty to accommodate during the pandemic
    • Revisiting substantive equality & compensation for work performed
    • Remote working best practices
    • Workplace violence and harassment
    • Independent contractor update
    • Employment agreement enforceability
    • Mitigating business disruption caused by Canada’s border closures and quarantine requirements
    • Strategies relating to union organizing during the time of COVID and labour update
    • Trade and labour adoption of international labour standards

Click here for more information and to register.