Canadian Construction Labour and Employment Law
On November 20, 2014, the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014 (formerly Bill 18), became law (received royal assent) in Ontario. The Act makes a number of significant changes to employment law that will come into force over the following months.
The minimum wage will now be tied to the Consumer Price Index (i.e., inflation) and will take effect on October 1 of each year, starting in 2015. The Ministry of Labour must announce and publish the new minimum wage before April 1. Notwithstanding negative changes to the CPI, the minimum wage cannot be decreased as a result of the indexing calculation set out in the legislation.
In addition, before October 1, 2020, and every five years thereafter, the minister must cause a review of the minimum wage and the process for adjusting the minimum wage.
New Employment Standards Act poster requirement
Effective May 20, 2015 (six months after royal assent), employers will be required to provide individual copies of the Ministry of Labour informational poster to each employee. The poster must be provided within 30 days of the day the employee becomes an employee of the employer. If the employee is already employed when the law comes into force, the employer must provide his or her employees with a copy of the poster within 30 days of that day.
The current requirement to post the most recent version of the poster in the workplace remains in place.
Additionally, when an employer requests the poster in a different language, must make enquiries as to whether the minister has prepared a translation of the poster into that language, and if the minister has done so, the employer shall provide the employee with a copy of the translation.
This requirement ensures employees know and understand their rights and entitlements under the ESA at the beginning of the employment relationship.
New ESA enforcement tool: self-audits
New self-audit provisions in the Employment Standards Act (ESA) will also come into effect six months after the date of royal assent (May 20, 2015).
Under the new section 91.1 of the ESA, an employment standards officer may, by giving written notice, require an employer to conduct an examination of the employer’s records, practices or both to determine whether the employer is in compliance with one or more provisions of the Act or the regulations. The section sets out the rules that govern these employer self-audits. These include the following.
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