Ontario’s provincial government recently passed Bill 66, the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2019. The law amends a vast array of legislation, including the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (LRA). And while not as sweeping as Bill 47, the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018, Bill 66 still makes significant and important changes to Ontario workplaces. As with many of the changes from previous employment legislation under the Ford government, Bill 66 primarily removes obligations from employers.
Importantly, however, many of these changes are rather narrow and limited, and do not absolve an employer’s broader responsibility. In essence, the changes do not meaningfully change what an employer must do, or what rights employees have; the changes address primarily how employers may meet their obligations under the law, providing more flexibility and discretion.
For example, while Bill 66 eliminates the requirement to hang the ESA poster somewhere conspicuous in the workplace, it does not eliminate the requirement to provide employees with a copy of the poster or to inform them of their rights under the ESA. Employers have more leeway in exactly how they go about informing employees of their rights, but they still must do so.
The nuances of these changes can take some explaining, but we’ve got you covered. Download our FREE Bill 66 ESA Updates Guide to further understand what’s changed, what hasn’t, and what all of it means for you and your organization.
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