Significant Changes to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act

After a bill’s enactment this past November, Ontario employers must start reviewing their employment policies to stay compliant.  New employer obligations come as a result of the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act (Bill 18). The Act was passed in an effort to provide support to Ontario workers.

The first amendment will remove the $10,000 cap on recovery of unpaid wages under the Employment Standards Act2000. It will impose a two year limitation for all wage claims instead of the regular six months, giving employees more time to submit their claims. This change becomes effective on February 20th. Then on May 20, 2015, Ontario employers will be required to provide employees with a copy of the most recent, “Employment Standards in Ontario poster.” The copy must be provided within 30 days on which the provision comes effective or within 30 days on which an individual becomes an employee. This poster is to help employers understand their obligations and for employees to understand their rights under the Employment Standards Act, 2000.

The minimum wage rate will also be adjusted in accordance with Ontario’s Consumer Price Index as a result of the new employment statutes amendments. The new minimum wage rate will come into effect this October. Temporary help agencies and their clients will also be required to maintain records in respect of assignment employees. Both parties will be jointly liable for certain unpaid wages owed to an assigned employee. All amendments affecting temporary help agencies are effective November 20, 2015.

Compliance Poster Company’s Research Department Team is closely following Ontario’s legislation. We will post updates to our blog. Please make sure to stay tuned.

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