Ontario Employment Legislation – How Compliant Are You?

 

On September 8, 2016, some changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act came into effect regarding workplace harassment and violence. Ontario employers who have more than five (5) workers are now required to have a written workplace harassment and violence policy and to post the policy in a conspicuous place in the workplace.

There are various legislative requirements for employers in Ontario that deal with:

  1. What workplace policies are required?
  2. What must be posted in the workplace?
  3. What training is mandatory?

The following is a summary of the workplace requirements under different legislation for Ontario employers. Please note that this is a generalization and there are various exceptions, etc. that may apply.

 

ESA

OHRC

OHSA

WSIA

PIPEDA

Legislation

Employment Standards Act

Ontario Human Right Code

Occupational Health and Safety Act

Workplace Safety and Insurance Act

Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act

Who has to comply?

All employers employing employees whose work is performed  in Ontario

Ontario employers and employees

Ontario employers

Determine whether you must register with Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)

Ontario businesses in the course of commercial activities

Workplace Policy

Not mandatory

Strongly recommended. Tribunal has power to order that employer create written policy (how to)

Workplaces having 5 or more workers that are regularly employed, must have a written OHS policy (how to) and a Workplace Harassment and Workplace Violence Policy (how to) and review both at least once per year

 

See WSIB site for obligations

Not mandatory but recommended

Posting Requirements

Current version of “Employment Standards in Ontario” poster must be displayed in a conspicuous location. New employees must be provided a copy of the poster within 30 days of commencement of employment.

None

Must display:

1. OHSA Poster

2. Workplace harassment and Workplace Violence Policy

3.  copy of the Act

You are required by law to hang the WSIB “In Case of Injury at Work – 1234” poster, near your first aid station

None.

Training Requirements

Not mandatory

Strongly recommended. Tribunal has power to order that employer provide training (how to)

Every Ontario worker and supervisor is required to complete training. Online training is available through the Ministry of Labour

First aid training is required

Not mandatory.

 

 

Complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

 

Ontario has legislated a phased in approach for the Ontarians with Disabilities Act with a view to the Act being fully implemented by 2025. The Ontario Government has developed a toolkit to assist businesses. The general obligations for Ontario businesses are as follows:

 

 

Summary

1-19 Employees

20-49 Employees

50+ Employees

Jan 12, 2012

   Provide

  • Provide accessible customer service (how to)
    • train your staff/volunteers to serve customers of all abilities
    • welcome service animals and support persons
    • create accessible ways for people to provide feedback
    • put an accessibility policy in place so employees/volunteers/customers can know what to expect
  • Provide accessible emergency and public safety information (how to)
  • Provide accessible emergency information to staff (how to)

Jan 1, 2014

  • Create Policy
  • Create Multi-Year Plan
  • Accessible Kiosks
  • Make Website Accessible

 

 

  • Create accessibility policies and a multi-year plan (how to)
    • tell you employees/customers about your policies
    • post the multi-year plan on your website in an accessible format
  • Consider accessibility when purchasing or designing self-service kiosks (how to)
  • Make websites accessible (how to)

Dec 31, 2014

   File

 

  • File an Accessibility Compliance Report (how to)

Jan 1, 2015

  • Create Policy
  • Accessible Kiosks
  • Create accessibility policies (how to)
    • tell you employees/customers about your policies
  • Consider accessibility when purchasing or designing self-service kiosks (how to)

 

 

  • Train your staff on Ontario’s accessibility laws (how to)
  • Make it easy for people with disabilities to provide feedback (how to)
  • Train staff
  • Feedback

Jan 1, 2016

  • Train staff
  • Feedback
  • Train your staff on Ontario’s accessibility laws (how to)
  • Make it easy for people with disabilities to provide feedback (how to)
  • Make your public information accessible when asked (how to)
  • Make your employment practices accessible (how to)
    • how you hire, retain and provide career development opportunities
    • document your process for developing individual accommodation plan and return-to-work plans
  • public information
  • employment practices

Jan 1, 2017

  • public information
  • employment practices
  • Make your public information accessible when asked (how to)
  • Make your employment practices accessible (how to)
    • how you hire, retain and provide career development opportunities
    • document your process for developing individual accommodation plan and return-to-work plans

Make new or redeveloped public spaces accessible (how to)

  • public spaces

Dec 31, 2017

   File

 

File an Accessibility Compliance Report (how to)

Jan 1, 2018

   Public spaces

Make new or redeveloped public spaces accessible (how to)

 

Dec 31, 2020

   File

 

File an Accessibility Compliance Report (how to)

Jan 1, 2021

   Websites and web content

 

 

Make all websites and web content accessible (how to)

Dec 31, 2023

   File

 

File an Accessibility Compliance Report (how to)

 

Christina J. Wallis is a lawyer Partner practising civil litigation with a focus in Employment Law at Dale & Lessmann LLP, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, a full service business law firm. To speak to Christina please call 416-369-7832 or send an email message to her at mailto:cwallis@dalelessmann.com.