New Legislation in Ontario – The Working For Workers (continued…)

Over the past few weeks, there have been lots of activity surrounding workplace laws with new legislation, under Ontario’s Bill 79, receiving royal assent and proposed legislation being introduced by the Ontario government to expand on the Working for Workers Act that have been introduced over the pass couple of years to protect and support workers in the province.  Coming out with the fourth installment to a slate of changes already approved and implemented, the Ontario government is continuing to help Ontarians where its needed most and hopefully coming up with solutions during a time of high interest rates and tougher economic conditions.


As employers, it is crucial to keep up to date the newest changes to employment legislation as they can affect business practices and what was normal practice can become a violation under new legislation.  Let’s look at the recent legislation that received royal assent, as well as the legislation being proposed, and what it means for businesses:


New Legislation that received Royal Assent an in:

  • Mass Terminations – Remote workers are now expressly included in mass termination rules to provide for enhanced notice periods where 50 or more employees are terminated at an “establishment” in any four-week period. “Establishment” is defined as the location at which the employer carries on business including an employee’s private residence provided the employee performs work there and does not perform work at any other location where the employer carries on business.
  • Information about Employment – Giving the Ontario government regulation-making authority to require employers to provide current or prospective employees with written information about their position.
  • Reservist Leave – Expanding the eligibility for such leave to be for recovery from physical or mental health illness, injury or medical emergency that results from participation in a military operation or training. The eligibility period was also reduced from three to two months of consecutive employment.
  • Licenses for Recruiters and Temporary Help Agencies – New licensing requirement for temporary help agencies and recruiters. As part of the provision, it prohibits recruiters from directly or indirectly charging any foreign national a fee for any service, good or benefit provided to them in connection with their employment.
  • Ontario Health and Safety Act Amendment – an increased maximum fine for employersfor OHSA offences is increased from $1.5 million to $2 million.
  • Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act Amendment – an increased maximum penalty employers convicted of withholding a foreign national’s passport or work permit. Individuals convicted could face fines up to $500,000 or 12 months imprisonment and corporations may be fined up to $1 million.


New Proposed Legslation:

  • Employers to be required to disclose salary ranges in job postings and if artificial intelligence (AI) is used during the hiring process.
  • A ban in Ontario the use of Canadian work experience as a requirement in job postings or application forms. This would be the first time such legislation is being introduced in Canada.
  • Support for injured workers by enabling “super indexing” increases to Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) benefits above the annual rate of inflation. This includes increased pay for injured workers, along with improving cancer coverage for firefighters.
  • Support for restaurant and hospitality workers by banning unpaid trial shifts, employers can never deduct an employee’s wages in the event of a dine and dash / gas and dash / any other stolen property, and protecting their hard-earned tips.


The world of business is always evolving and as prudent leaders, you must ensure that your business is following all the legislations and laws governing your business.  Links included below contain information surrounding the new legislations.


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