In March 2023, the Ontario government introduced Bill 79 which aims to expand on legislative changes that the government rolled out in 2021 and 2022, providing increased rights for employees and placing new duties on employers.

If passed, Bill 79 would:

  • Include employees who work solely from home in the count for mass termination provisions to ensure that remote employees receive the same eight-week minimum notice of termination or pay-in-lieu as their in-office colleagues.
  • Increase the maximum fine for a corporation for a conviction from $1,500,000 to $2,000,000. These changes would give Ontario the highest maximum corporate fines under workplace health and safety legislation in the country.
  • Establish the highest maximum fines in Canada, of $1,000,000, for employers convicted of taking possession of or retaining a foreign national’s passport or work permit.
  • Expand eligibility for reservist leave by broadening the reasons for taking the leave to include taking time off to recover from physical injuries or mental health illnesses resulting from a deployment to a Canadian Forces operation. Additionally, reservists would be eligible for job-protected leave after two months of employment instead of the current three-month requirement.
  • Proposes regulatory changes that require employers to provide employees with information about their job, such as pay, work location and hours of work, and the date by which that information needs to be provided (e.g., before their first shift).
    These changes and others are set to come into force on the day Bill 79 receives Royal Assent.

e2r™ will continue to track the progress of the Bill. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding the impact of the proposed changes on your workplace, please do not hesitate to reach out to speak with an Advisor.