A Consultation Paper On Ontario’s Minimum Wage
On May 2, 2013, the Ontario government announced that it was establishing an Advisory Panel to provide advice on how to adjust Ontario’s minimum wage. The Panel is composed of an independent chair and representatives from business, worker and youth groups.
Following consultations with interested parties and advice from the Panel members, the Chair will provide recommendations to the government on how Ontario should determine future changes to the minimum wage.
The Minimum Wage Advisory Panel officially began its work on July 17, 2013. The Panel is looking for feedback on an approach for determining Ontario’s minimum wage in the future.
The Terms of Reference for the Panel can be found on the Ministry of Labour’s website.
The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) sets out rights of employees and requirements that apply to employers in most Ontario workplaces. The ESA sets out the minimum standards that employers and employees must follow. The Ministry of Labour, through its Employment Standards Program enforces the ESA and its regulations. A copy of the Employment Standards Act Guide can be found here.
Employers are required to post the most recent version (6.0) of the Employment Standards Poster published by the Minister of Labour in the workplace where it is likely to come to the attention of employees. The poster must be displayed in English. If the majority language of a 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 a copy of the translation next to the English version of the poster.
Changes in the law that come into force on May 20, 2015 also require employers to provide employees who are covered under the ESA with a copy of the most recent version of the Employment Standards Poster. For more information, click here.
PDF- English version of the Employment Standards in Ontario poster is available here.
The Changing Workplaces Review
Ontario is conducting a review of the changing nature of the workplace.
The scheduled public consultations of the Changing Workplaces Review have now concluded.
The Special Advisors to the review will review and consider the input from the public consultations and commissioned research.
The Advisors plan to release an Interim Report early in 2016 and to take public comment after the report is released.Their final report and recommendations are expected in Summer 2016.
The review is considering how the Labour Relations Act, 1995 and Employment Standards Act, 2000 could be amended to best protect workers while supporting businesses in our changing economy.
Workplace trends that are being examined in the consultation include:
• The increase in non-standard working relationships such as temporary jobs, involuntary part-time work, and self-employment.
• The rising prominence of the service sector.
• Globalization and trade liberalization.
• Accelerating technological change.
• Greater workplace diversity.
The scope of the consultations is set out in the Terms of Reference for the Changing Workplaces Review.
Under the Employment Standards Act, Ontario has nine public holiday days: New Years Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. While some employers give their employees a holiday on Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, the first Monday in August, or Remembrance Day, the employer is not required to do so under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA).
Special rules may apply for paid public holidays for hotel, motel, tourist resort, restaurant or tavern employees. For more information about your specific situation related to holiday pay, please contact the Ministry of Labour Information Centre at (416) 326-7160 or 1-800-531-5551.
More information on Public Holiday Entitlements can be found here
Estimates of employment and average weekly earnings for all employees, by industry, including Accommodation can be found here
Preventing Violence in the Workplace
New requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act came into effect on June 15, 2010. The workplace violence tool kit and accompanying guide will assist employers in complying with these new requirements by helping them to develop workplace violence and harassment policies and programs; assess risks of workplace violence including situations involving handling of cash, dealing with potentially violent clients, working alone, working in high-crime areas, protecting valuable goods and transporting people or goods; and identify possible ways to control those risks.
There will also be information on how to deal with domestic violence in the workplace, including how to develop a safety plan.
What employers need to know is available here.
The tool kit and guide are available on the Ministry of Labour's website at here.
New Training Standards For JHSC Certification
Ontario has released new training standards that will help improve worker safety by providing consistent, quality training for the certification of Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) members. For more information, click here.
Advisory on Repetitive Strain Injuries
RSIs - or Repetitive Strain Injuries - are one of the most common work-related injuries in Ontario. Nearly four out of ten injuries requiring time off work in Ontario are a result of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), an umbrella term that includes RSIs. Read more here.