Changing Workplaces Review: final recommendations expected in February 2017

Employment Alert

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By February 28, 2017, it is expected that a final report on the Changing Workplaces Review (the “Review”) will be presented to the Ontario Minister of Labour. The purpose of the Review is to consider the broader issues affecting the workplace with a focus on “vulnerable workers in precarious jobs.” The Review will therefore be of particular interest for employers that engage with workers earning low wages and/or workers that are in non-standard employment (temporary work, solo self-employment, part-time work and/or multiple job holding).

The goal of the Review is to provide recommendations for amending the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 so that the changing nature of the workforce, workplace and economy is reflected in the legislation. The Interim Report, which was released on July 27, 2016, considered a wide range of possible amendments to the legislation (including, but not limited to, introducing paid sick leave, expanding the concept of related or joint employers, and prohibiting the use of replacement workers during a strike) but did not come to any final conclusions. Comments and submissions relating to the Interim Report were accepted by the Ministry of Labour up until October 14, 2016.

Given the vast scope of the Changing Workplaces Review and the corresponding Interim Report, employers should continue to watch for developments. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any additional questions. We will provide further updates on the Changing Workplaces Review as it progresses and in particular, if any reforms are pursued.