Williams HR Law LLP

Ontario Government Launches Consultation on ESA Exemptions and LRA Exclusion

October 23, 2017

On October 18, 2017, the Ontario government launched a public consultation seeking submissions from stakeholders and from the public on certain exemptions under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) and on the exclusion of domestic workers from the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (the “LRA”). The consultation was prompted by the Final Report of the Changing Workplaces Review (the “Review”), which was released in May 2017. The two Special Advisors appointed by the Minister of Labour to conduct the Review recommended that certain ESA exemptions should be amended, while others likely should be amended but required further consultation.

When the Ontario government announced Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, which is currently moving through the legislature, it also announced that it would be reviewing ESA exemptions. This review will occur in phases. Phase 1 will focus on the exemptions under the ESA for: architects; domestic workers (the exclusion of which under the LRA will also be considered in this phase); homemakers; IT professionals; managerial and supervisory employees; pharmacists; residential building superintendents, janitors and caretakers; and residential care workers. Of particular importance to employers are the consultations on the ESA exemptions for IT professionals and managerial and supervisory employees, as the exemptions of these employees from entitlement to overtime pay under the ESA are widely used.

Interested stakeholders may make submissions until December 1, 2017. In order to participate in the consultation, stakeholders will have to email exemptions.review@ontario.ca to request toolkits prepared for each category of exemption. The toolkits contain information about the relevant exemption and related Bill 148 amendments, an overview of the Ministry of Labour’s ESA exemption policy framework, and the questions on which the government intends the consultation to focus.

More information can be found on the Ontario government’s website.

This blog is provided as information and a summary of workplace legal issues.

This information is not intended as legal advice.