Further to our last Alert, here are some additional legislative updates that employers should be aware of.
Working For Workers, 2023
On October 26, 2023 the Working for Workers Act, 2023 received Royal Assent and is now in force. Among a whole slew of changes the following are the most notable:
- Mass Terminations – Remote workers, along with in-office workers, are now to be included when calculating whether an employer meets the threshold of 50 or more employees being terminated. If this threshold is met during a 4-week period, mass termination requirements are triggered.
- Increased Fines – The Ontario Health and Safety Act has been amended to allow for maximum fines to be increased from $1,500,000 to $2,000,000.
- Information for New Hires – The Act allows regulations to be introduced that could require Ontario employers to provide current and prospective employees with written information on their position. No specific regulations have been released as of yet.
- Licenses for Recruiters and Temporary Help Agencies – Temporary help agencies must have a licence to operate, and recruiters must have a licence to act as a recruiter as of July 1, 2024. This does not include employees performing recruiting’s functions as a duty of their position within an organization and recruiting for their organization.
Working For Workers Four Act, 2023
On November 14, 2023, the Ontario government introduced another Working for Workers Act that, if passed would it include the following updates:
- Recruitment – Ontario employers would be required to include expected salary ranges in job postings and indicate if artificial intelligence (AI) is used during their hiring process. Additionally, the Act may ban the use of Canadian work experience as a requirement for a position.
- Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) – The concept of “super indexing” would be introduced, allowing for benefits to increase greater than inflations.
- Restaurant and Service Workers – Ontario employers would be required to provide greater protections for workers in the hospitality industry by banning unpaid trial shifts, banning deductions of employee’s wages (in the event of a dine and dash, gas and dash, or any other stolen property), and requiring greater clarity around tips.
- Vacation Pay – Ontario employers would be required to have employees sign an agreement to allow for “alternate pay arrangements”.
Ontario’s Child Care Workforce Strategy
The Ontario government announced last week that a new minimum rate will be introduced for Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) to support the recruitment and retention of individuals in these fields. Under this new strategy the RECE minimum wage will increase from the previously planned 2024 rate of $20.00 per hour to $23.86 per hour and then an additional $1 per year following that.
As always, if you have any questions regarding the impact of these changes on your workplace, please do not hesitate to contact ClientCare.