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Are You Compliant? New ESA Poster Published and Regulations in Force as of January

February 14, 2018

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”2368″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Many of the Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) came into force on January 1, 2018.

Because of these changes, the Ministry of Labour has published a revised version of the ESA poster. The government also filed regulations in support of amendments made by Bill 148.

New ESA Poster

Because of the changes to the ESA that came into force on January 1, 2018, version 6.0 of the poster was out of date. The Ministry of Labour published a “new streamlined version” of the poster, version 7.0, designed to direct employees to the Ministry’s website for more detailed information.

Employers are required to post the most recent version of the poster in the workplace where employees are likely to see it. The English version must be posted, but if the majority language of the workplace is a language other than English, and the Ministry has published a version of the poster in that language, the employer is required to post the translation next to the English copy. Employers must also provide a printed or digital copy to employees who are covered by the ESA.

Failure to post version 7.0 on or after January 1, 2018 is a violation of the ESA and could result in an Employment Standards Officer taking enforcement action.

Regulations in Support of Bill 148 Amendments

On December 18, 2017, the Ontario government filed several regulations in support of Bill 148 amendments to the ESA and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (the “LRA”).

Regulations Made Under the ESA

Ontario Regulation 526/17: Exemptions, Special Rules and Establishment of Minimum Wage amends Ontario Regulation 285/01: Exemptions, Special Rules and Establishment of Minimum Wage to:

  • Change the name of the regulation to When Work Deemed to be Performed, Exemptions and Special Rules;
  • Move the provisions regarding “when work deemed to be performed” to the beginning of the regulation as a standalone section;
  • Revoke certain minimum wage provisions (as these are now set out in the ESA);
  • Change the public holiday exemptions for construction workers;
  • Include construction workers in the special rules regarding personal emergency leave;
  • Set out exemptions from the new equal pay for equal work provisions (NOTE: this provision comes into force on April 1, 2018) for:
    • persons employed as a firefighter as defined in section 1 of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997;
    • an employee who is a student under 18 years of age, if the weekly hours of the student are not in excess of 28 hours or if the student is employed during a school holiday; and
    • persons employed in the recorded visual and audio-visual entertainment production industry;
  • Set out exemptions from the new scheduling provisions (NOTE: this provision comes into force on January 1, 2019) for:
    • persons employed in the recorded visual and audio-visual entertainment production industry with regards to the new rules regarding the right to refuse shifts schedules with less than 96 hours’ notice and shifts cancelled within 48 hours of when the shift was to begin; and
    • employees covered Ontario Regulation 502/06: Terms and Conditions of Employment in Defined Industries — Automobile Manufacturing, Automobile Parts Manufacturing, Automobile Parts Warehousing and Automobile Marshalling, who are exempted from the new rules regarding minimum pay for being on call, the right to refuse shifts schedules with less than 96 hours’ notice and shifts cancelled within 48 hours of when the shift was to begin.

Unless otherwise stated above, this regulation came into force on January 1, 2018.

Ontario Regulation 527/17: Benefits Plans amends Ontario Regulation 286/01: Benefits Plans by:

  • adding “a pooled registered pension plan” to the definition of “pension plan”; and
  • outlining that differentiation under pension plans based on age will be permitted if the differentiations are in accordance with the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act (Canada), as it applies for the purposes of the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act, 2015.

This regulation came into force on January 1, 2018.

Ontario Regulation 528/17: Enforcement amends Ontario Regulation 289/01: Enforcement to:

  • Change the title of the regulation to Penalties and Reciprocal Enforcement; and
  • Increase penalties for contraventions of the ESA.

This regulation came into force on January 1, 2018.

Ontario Regulation 530/17: Terms and Conditions of Employment in Defined Industries – Automobile Manufacturing, Automobile Parts Manufacturing, Automobile Parts Warehousing and Automobile Marshalling amend Ontario Regulation 502/06 of the same name to, among other things:

  • Provide for two paid days of Personal Emergency Leave unless the employee is entitled to receive a total of two or more days as one or more of the following:
    • Vacation days in excess of the employee’s entitlement under the ESA;
    • Holidays in excess of the employee’s entitlement under the ESA; or
    • Days off for personal illness or personal medical appointments in each calendar year;
  • Remove the exemption from provision Personal Emergency Leave for employers with fewer than 50 employees.

This regulation came into force on January 1, 2018.

Ontario Regulation 535/17: Family Medical Leave and Critical Illness Leave:

  • Revokes Ontario Regulation 476/06: Family Medical Leave – Prescribed Individuals as the prescribed individuals for whom this leave may be taken is now set out in the ESA; and
  • Prescribes that, for the definition of family member in Family Medical Leave and Critical Illness Leave which includes “a person who considers the employee to be like a family member, provided the prescribed conditions are met”, the prescribed condition is that the employee must, on the employer’s request, provide the employer with a copy of the document provided to an agency or department of the Government of Canada for the purpose of claiming benefits under the Employment Insurance Act (Canada) in which it is stated that the employee is considered to be like a family member.

This regulation came into force on January 1, 2018.

Regulation Made Under the LRA

Ontario Regulation 534/17: Transitional Matters sets out transitional measures for:

  • remedial certification when an employer contravenes the LRA;
  • the Board’s power to review bargaining unit structure;
  • the amendment with respect to discharge or discipline following a strike or lock-out;
  • the increased fines for contraventions of the LRA (an increase from $2,000 to $5,000 for an individual, and from $25,000 to $100,000 for a corporation, trade union, council of trade unions or employers’ organization); and
  • the powers of the Board introduced by Bill 148 regarding conducting votes.

The regulation specifies that all of the above apply in respect of an application for certification filed on or after January 1, 2018, with the exception that the Board’s powers regarding vote conduct may apply in respect of applications for certification filed before January 1, 2018 if the vote has not taken place by that date and in the opinion of the Board, it is appropriate for the amendments to apply.

This regulation came into force on January 1, 2018.

 

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

This information is not intended as legal advice.

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