June 3, 2015
Earlier this year we updated you about some of the changes to Ontario’s employment legislation https://kmlaw.ca/the-esa-in-2015-the-times-they-are-a-changing/. This month we are highlighting two of the changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”), which take effect as of May 2015.
Employment Standards in Ontario Poster:
Under Ontario’s Stronger Workplace for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014, SO 2014, C. 10 (the “Act”), employers are required to replace version 5.0 of the poster entitled “Employment Standards in Ontario” with version 6.0, which can be accessed at http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pubs/poster.php, along with key FAQ to help ensure compliance.
Here are some quick compliance points:
- Effective May 1, 2015, employers are required to post version 6.0 of the poster in the workplace in an area where it is likely to come to the attention of employees.
- The poster must be displayed in the English language, unless the majority language of the workplace is one other than English, in which case you can post a Ministry approved poster (see link above) alongside an English language poster.
- The poster must be printed on letter size paper and can be in either colour or in black and white.
- Effective May 20, 2015, employers are required to provide all current employees with a copy of version 6.0 of the poster by June 19, 2015.
- Employees hired after May 20, 2015, must be provided with a copy of the poster within 30 days of their hire date. The poster can be provided to an employee as a hardcopy or electronically (attachment or link to a database), but only if the employer ensures that the employee has reasonable access to and knowledge of how to use a computer and printer.
- An employer that is obligated to and fails to post and distribute the poster could be subject to enforcement actions by the Ministry of Labour.
As of May 20, 2015, employers may be required to self-audit their ESA compliance. The amendments allow employment standards officers to order 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 ESA or the regulations; and
- report the results of the examination to the employment standards officer in accordance with the notice and the requirements under the ESA.
Key Points to Remember
- Notice of the audit must be provided in writing.
- The notice will identify information to be provided in the employer’s ESA compliance report, including asking for details on planned measures to become compliant.
- The amendments specifically target wage violations.
- An employer may still be subject to inspections, investigations and enforcement measures even if it has completed the self-audit.