December 10, 2018by Israel Foulon LLP
On December 6, 2018, the Ontario government introduced omnibus legislation entitled Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018 (Bill 66) that, when passed, will amend multiple statutes, including the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”).
The changes to the ESA include:
- Abolishing the requirement that employers post the ESA poster in the workplace,
- Removing the requirement for the Director’s approval for employers to make agreements that allow their employees to exceed 48 hours of work in a work week, and
- Allowing employees’ hours to be averaged in accordance with the terms of an averaging agreement between the employee and the employer over a period that does not exceed four weeks.
The proposed changes are summarized in more detail below. The legislation was carried on first reading but is not yet law. We will keep clients informed of any further changes or deviation from the list below once final legislation is passed in the Legislature.
- The Director, not the Minister, will be responsible for preparing and publishing a poster providing information about the ESA and its regulations (“ESA poster”).
- Employers will no longer be required to post and keep posted in at least one conspicuous place in every workplace a copy of the ESA poster.
- Employers will still be required to provide all employees with a copy of the ESA poster within 30 days of employment.
Hours of Work and Overtime Averaging
- The current requirement to obtain approval from the Director of Employment Standards to have employees work excess hours or engage in overtime averaging will be eliminated. Rather, a written agreement between the employer and the affected employees (or union) will suffice.
- The period over which hours of work can be averaged will be limited to a maximum four week period.
- An averaging agreement will not be valid unless it provides for both a start date and an expiry date, and cannot exceed two years if the employees are not represented by a union.
- Existing overtime averaging agreements that were approved would continue to be in effect until their expiry.