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It seems the Ontario Government has employment law on its mind – right on the heels of the provincial election in 4 months.

A new Working for Workers Act, 2022 has just been announced and contains new and unique proposals that affect every employer in Ontario.

This includes:

  • Forcing employers with 25+ employees to put in place a written policy disclosing electronic monitoring of employees
  • Increasing the maximum fines for failure to provide a safe work environment that leads to a worker being severely injured or dying on the job:
    • For corporations: now up to $1.5 million
    • For officers and directors: now up to $1.5 million or imprisonment of up to 1 year
  • Increasing the limitation period on prosecutions under the Occupational Health & Safety Act from 1 year to 2 years
  • Brand new minimum standards for digital platform workers (think Uber, Door Dash) including the right to information, recurring pay day, minimum wage, and other minimum standards enjoyed by employees in Ontario
  • Expansion of the rights of employees taking reservist leave
  • The requirement that employers provide and maintain a naloxone kit in workplaces where overdoses are a potential hazard or where the employer becomes aware or ought reasonably to be aware that there may be a risk of a worker having an opioid overdose at a workplace
  • Clarifying the treatment of many IT workers by employers, allowing those workers to have greater opportunities for work

We expect these amendments to be passed by Queen’s Park shortly.

These above changes are of course in addition to the changes that came into effect in December 2021:

  • Forcing most employers to have a right to disconnect policy by no later than June 2, 2022
  • A prohibition on non-competition agreements as of October 25, 2021, with some exceptions
  • Strict licensing requirements for temporary help agencies and recruiters
  • The requirement to provide delivery personnel access to washrooms, where doing so would be reasonable in the circumstances

For more information about KMB Law’s Employment and Labour team, click here.

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This article is provided for general information purposes and should not be considered a legal opinion. Clients are advised to obtain legal advice based on their specific situations.

If you have questions, please reach out

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