Add a bookmark to get started

Abstract view of building
1 March 20224 minute read

Ontario continues to work for workers with the introduction of Bill 88

As Ontario employers continue to acquaint themselves with the requirements of Bill 27, the Working for ‎Workers Act, 2021, which received Royal Assent on December 2, 2021, the Government of Ontario has ‎introduced Bill 88, the Working for Workers Act, 2022. ‎Bill 88 proposes further sweeping changes to Ontario’s workplace laws through additional legislative ‎enactments and amendments, including the following:

  1. Ontario Digital Platform Workers' Rights Act, 2022: The new Ontario Digital Platform Workers' ‎Rights Act, 2022 would be enacted to establish minimum standards applicable to digital platform ‎workers, including rights to:‎

    a.‎ information, such as factors used to offer assignments and methods of calculating pay; ‎

    b.‎ a recurring pay period, along with an entitlement to be paid all amounts earned and ‎tips/gratuities collected during a pay period on a recurring pay day;‎

    c.‎ a minimum wage equal to the general minimum wage payable under the Ontario ‎Employment Standards Act, 2000; ‎

    d.‎ be free from unauthorized deductions from amounts earned and tips/gratuities collected;‎

    e.‎ notice of removal from a digital platform, including a written explanation and an ‎entitlement to two weeks’ notice of any suspension of 24 hours or longer;‎

    f.‎ resolve work-related disputes in Ontario; and ‎

    g.‎ be free from reprisal. ‎

    The new Ontario Digital Platform Workers' Rights Act, 2022 would also require digital platform ‎operators to record and retain certain information with respect to each worker who accesses the ‎digital platform for the purpose of accepting or declining to perform digital platform work.

  2. Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000: The Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 would ‎be amended to:‎

    a.‎ exempt from the application of the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 certain ‎business consultants and information technology consultants who (i) provide advice or ‎services in respect of business performance or information technology systems, (ii) ‎provide services through a corporation or a sole proprietorship, and (iii) are paid an ‎amount equal to or greater than $60 per hour;‎

    b. ‎impose a requirement on employers with 25 or more employees to have a written policy with respect to electronic monitoring of employees, which would include a description of the circumstances in which electronic monitoring may take place and the purposes of such electronic monitoring, as outlined in our recent alert; and

    c.‎ expand entitlements to reservist leaves of absence, including by broadening the reasons ‎for taking a reservist leave of absence and reducing the eligibility period to completion ‎of three months of continuous employment.

  3. ‎ ‎Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act: The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act ‎would be amended to:‎

    a.‎ impose requirements relating to potential opioid overdoses at certain workplaces, ‎including requirements to have and be trained on the use of naloxone kits in the ‎workplace;‎

    b.‎ increase maximum fines and add aggravating factors to be considered in determining ‎penalties for violations of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act; and‎

    c.‎ increase the limitation period to two years for instituting a prosecution under the Ontario ‎Occupational Health and Safety Act.‎

The Ontario legislature will be collecting feedback until March 30, 2022 regarding the proposed legislative enactments and amendments. We will provide further updates as Bill 88 proceeds through the Ontario legislature. In the interim, if you have any questions about any of the proposed legislative enactments and amendments, do not hesitate to contact any lawyer in our Employment and Labour Law Group.

This article provides only general information about legal issues and developments, and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Please see our disclaimer for more details.