Occupational Health & Safety Legislation Tracker

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Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2017 Bill 127 Provincial
In Force
OHS Impact
The Bill makes various amendments to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 to allow entitlement to chronic or mental stress coverage.
Changes
  • Includes amendments to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA) to allow entitlement to chronic mental stress for workplace injuries that occur on or after January 1, 2018.
  • Section 13 of the Act is amended to provide that a worker is entitled to benefits under the insurance plan for chronic or mental stress arising out of and in the course of the worker’s employment.
  • A worker is not entitled to benefits for mental stress caused by decisions or actions of the worker’s employer relating to the worker’s employment, including a decision to change the work to be performed or the working conditions, to discipline the worker or to terminate the employment.
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2017 Bill 148 Provincial
Royal Assent
OHS Impact

This Bill is intended to help safeguard employees and create fairer and better workplaces, with a landmark package of measures

Changes

Changes to the Employment Standards Act:

  • Raising Ontario's general minimum wage to $14 per hour on January 1, 2018, and then to $15 on January 1, 2019, followed by annual increases at the rate of inflation.
  • Expanding personal emergency leave to include an across-the-board minimum of at least two paid days per year for all workers.
  • Five of the 10 days' leave granted to survivors of domestic violence will now be paid.
  • Bringing Ontario's vacation time into line with the national average by ensuring at least three weeks' vacation after five years with a company.
  • On May 7, 2018, the Ontario Government introduced Regulation 375/18, which reinstates the ESA public holiday pay formula that applied prior to the coming into force of Bill 148 The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act. Regulation 375/18 will remain in force until December 31, 2019.
  • Making employee scheduling fairer, including requiring employees to be paid for three hours of work if their shift is cancelled within 48 hours of its scheduled start time.

Provisions that come into effect on December 3, 2017, include:

  • Critical Illness Leave: An employee will be entitled to take up to 17 weeks of leave in a 52 week period to provide care or support to a critically ill adult family member.
  • Parental Leave: The length of parental leave will increase; this leave was up to 35 weeks long if the employee took pregnancy leave, and 37 weeks otherwise. It can be up to 61 weeks if the employee takes pregnancy leave, and up to 63 weeks otherwise.
  • Employers will be required to pay casual, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees the same rate as full-time, permanent employees when doing the same job. This will also apply for temporary help agency employees doing the same job as permanent employees at the company they are assigned to.
  • Changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act:
  • The Act now prevents employers from requiring a worker to wear footwear with an elevated heel, for example, high heels, at work, unless such footwear is required for the worker's safety.The private member's bill 168 to ban mandatory high heels in the workplace - the proposed Putting Your Best Foot Forward Act - is now incorporated into Bill 148; employers of "performers in the entertainment and advertising industry" are exempt, however. Protection Against Employee Misclassification: The Employment Standards Act, 2000, now expressly prohibits employers from misclassifying employees as "independent contractors.".
Legislation Briefing
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2017 Bill 151 Provincial
Standing Committee
OHS Impact

The Bill amends the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 to expand the application of the section 14 entitlement to benefits. The purpose of the bill is to clarify which workers are eligible for benefits once diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Changes

Entitlement for posttraumatic stress disorder includes: nurses, health care workers providing close assistance to first responders, and workers other than police officers who provide police services or support the work of persons who provide police services.

Legislation Briefing

Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2017 Bill 157 Provincial
Standing Committee
OHS Impact

This Bill is now incorporated into Bill 148 which is now in force.

Changes
  • The Bill amends the Employment Standards Act, 2000 to provide that an employee who has been employed by an employer for at least 13 consecutive weeks and who has experienced domestic or sexual violence or the threat of domestic or sexual violence is entitled to up to 10 days of paid leave and up to 15 weeks of unpaid leave.
  • The Occupational Health and Safety Act is also amended to require employers to ensure that every supervisor and worker receives information and instruction about domestic violence in the workplace and sexual violence in the workplace.
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2017 Bill 158 Provincial
1st Reading
OHS Impact

This Private Member's Bill would amend the Highway Traffic Act to impose additional consequences on a driver who seriously injures or kills a pedestrian, a cyclist, a mobility device user, a roadway worker, an emergency responder outside his or her motor vehicle or another individual listed in the Bill, by breaking one of the rules of the road.

Changes
  • A driver convicted of the offence is subject to the consequences for breaking the rule, and to a mandatory probation order.
  • The order will require the driver to take a driving instruction course and perform community service related to improving driving.
  • Their driver's licence will be suspended during the probation.
  • The driver must also attend the sentencing hearing.
  • Victim impact statements may be presented during the sentencing hearing.
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2017 Bill 161 Provincial
Standing Committee
OHS Impact

The Bill enacts Nick's Law (Opioid Abuse Awareness), 2017, which requires the Government of Ontario to allocate at least 10 per cent of the Bulk Media Buy Program toward marketing campaigns that aim to raise awareness regarding the risk of prescription opioid abuse and regarding the risks associated with fentanyl abuse.

Changes

Under this act Opioid Awareness Campaigns should:

  • Address the dangers, the prevention of opioid abuse and other safety precautions.
  • The detection of early warning signs of addiction.
  • Bring greater public awareness to:
    • The dangerous effects of fentanyl abuse and the symptoms of an overdose, the dangers associated with drugs that are contaminated with fentanyl.
    • The fentanyl Patch for Patch (P4P) return policy established under the Safeguarding our Communities Act (Patch for Patch Return Policy), 2015.
    • Inform the public about where to seek help.
    • For every fiscal year, the Minister of Finance must report on the campaigns and the percentage of the Bulk Media Buy Program that was allocated toward them.
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2017 Bill 168 Provincial
In Force
OHS Impact

This Bill is now incorporated into Bill 148 which is now in force.

Changes

A new section (25) is added to the Occupational Health and Safety Act that provides that an employer shall not require a worker to wear footwear with an elevated heel unless it is required for the worker to perform his or her work safely. Excemption: this prohibition is made for employers of performers in the entertainment and advertising industry.

Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2017 Bill 174 Provincial
Royal Assent
OHS Impact

The purpose of this Bill is to regulate the use and distribution of recreational cannabis once legalized by the federal government.

Changes
  • Enact the creation of the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation which will be overseen by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, and will have the exclusive right to sell cannabis in the Province of Ontario.
  • Protect youth by setting a minimum age of 19 to use, buy, possess and cultivate cannabis in Ontario
  • Ban the use of cannabis in public places, workplaces and motor vehicles, similar to alcohol.
  • Regulate the smoking and vaping of medical cannabis under the new Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017.
  • Help eliminate the illicit market, including illegal storefront dispensaries, by creating new provincial offences with strict, escalating penalties.
  • Drug impaired driving will include a zero tolerance approach for youth, novice and commercial driver in regarding.
Legislation Briefing
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2017 Bill 177​ Provincial
In Force
OHS Impact

Schedule 30 of this Bill amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Changes

Require an employer to notify a Director under the Act if a committee or a health and safety representative has identified potential structural inadequacies of a workplace as a source of danger or hazard to workers.

  • Allow for regulations to expand the circumstances in which persons are required to report an accident or other incident under section 53 of the Act and to require additional notices to be provided in the circumstances described in sections 51, 52 and 53 of the Act.
  • Increase the maximum fine under section 66 of the Act payable by a person upon conviction of an offence under the Act.
  • Amend the limitation period for bringing a prosecution under the Act or the regulations.
  • Bill 177 includes amendments to the WSIA that will provide transitional rules for determining entitlement to benefits for mental stress claims that arose prior to January 1, 2018.
Legislation Briefing
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2017 Bill 192 Provincial
1st Reading
OHS Impact

This Ontario Private Members Bill amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The provisions of the Act protecting workers against reprisals are amended to include protections against reprisals against workers who speak out about workplace violence and workplace harassment. The amendments provide that a reprisal is any measure taken against a worker that adversely affects the worker’s employment.

Changes

The amendments include the following:

  • Providing employees with a formal right to request flexible work arrangements from their employers
  • Providing employees with at least 24 hours' notice of a change in shift
  • Providing employees with a right to refuse overtime in order to fulfill a family responsibility
  • A new three-day unpaid family responsibility leave
  • A new 10-day unpaid leave for victims of family violence
  • A new three-day unpaid leave for traditional Aboriginal practices
  • Extending the current paid bereavement leave by an additional two unpaid days, and extending the time period in which bereavement leave can be taken
  • Other modifications to provisions on work schedules, overtime, annual vacation and general holidays intended to provide greater flexibility in work arrangements.
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2017 Bill 88 Provincial
Standing Committee
OHS Impact
The Bill bans the use, reuse, import, transport or sale of asbestos in Ontario.
Changes
  • Requires the Ministry of Labour to create a Register of all provincially owned or leased buildings containing asbestos, and for that Register to be updated from time to time as work to remove asbestos from buildings listed on the Register is completed. 
  • Each owner or lessee of a provincially owned or leased building shall provide the Minister with a report within the time period specified by the regulations, stating whether the building contains asbestos.
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2018 Bill 3 Provincial
Royal Assent
OHS Impact

The Act establishes requirements relating to the disclosure of information about the compensation of employees and prospective employees. The legislature was prorogued on March 19, meaning that all outstanding Bills including Bill 203 Pay Transparency Act, 2018 died on the order paper and have to be reintroduced by the government. This bill was reintroduced as Bill 3, the Act establishes requirements relating to the disclosure of information about the compensation of employees and prospective employees.

Changes
  • Sections 4-7 of this bill would require all publicly advertised job postings to include a salary rate or range, bar employers from asking about past compensation and prohibit reprisal against employees who do discuss or disclose compensation.
  • Sections 8 to 11 address the powers and duties of compliance officers who may be appointed to enforce the Act.
  • Compliance officers may conduct compliance audits, and if an officer believes that a person has contravened a provision of this Act or the regulations, the officer may issue a notice of contravention to the person under section 12.
  • Sections 13 to 15 specify the procedures that apply for disputing a notice of contravention before the Ontario Labour Relations Board and enforcing the notice in a court.
Update:
On November 15, 2018, the Ontario government introduced Bill 57, Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act, 2018  in the Ontario legislature. Bill 57 proposes to amend Pay Transparency Act, 2018, which was scheduled to come into effect on January 1, 2019.
If passed, Bill 57 would change the commencement date of Ontario’s Pay Transparency Act, 2018 to a date to be determined by the cabinet


Legislation Briefing
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2018 Bill 36 Provincial
In Force
OHS Impact
Bill 36 will enact the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018 and will make amendments to the Cannabis Act, 2017, the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act, 2017 and the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017, as well as consequential amendments.
Changes
  • Would permit smoking cannabis in places where smoking tobacco and using e-cigarettes is permitted, including in certain controlled areas of long-term care homes, hospices and designated guest rooms in hotels, motels and inns and private residence.
  • Establish the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) as the provincial regulator authorized to grant store licences within a new private retail store model.
  • Proposes to establish a regulatory framework for a private cannabis market and makes several amendments to existing law with consequences to Ontario workplaces.
  • The Bill incorporates the prohibitions articulated in the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017.
  • Consuming cannabis in enclosed workplaces would remain prohibited.
  • Introduces the establishment of various retail and personal licences and authorizations for the proposed private retail store model by April 1st, 2019.
  • Municipalities retain the ability to pass a resolution by January 22, 2019 prohibiting cannabis retail stores from being located within their boundaries
Legislation Briefing
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2018 Bill 47 Provincial
In Force
OHS Impact
Bill 47 makes many proposed changes to various pieces of legislation governing employment and labour relations in Ontario, principally the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and the Labour Relations Act, 1995. Employment Standards Act, 2000 Changes under Bill 47 come into force on January 1, 2019.
Labour Relations Act  Changes under Bill 47 are in force as of November 21, 2018.
 
Changes
Bill 47 makes the following changes to the Employment Standards Act (ESA):
  • Minimum Wage: Minimum wage to remain at $14.00/hour, at least until October 2020. Further increases in minimum wage to start October 2020, and will be tied to inflation.
  • Scheduling: the new scheduling provision in Bill 148 will be repealed.
  • Personal Emergency Leave: The current right to receive 10 PEL days will be reduced to 8 unpaid annual leave days, 3 unpaid days for personal illness, 2 unpaid bereavement leave days, and 3 unpaid days for family responsibilities.
  • Medical Notes: Employers will be allowed to request a medical note from a qualified health practitioner to support an employee’s absence.
  • Vacation: The current vacation entitlement provisions will remain.
  • Domestic and Sexual Violence Leave: The current paid leave provisions dealing with domestic and sexual violence will be retained.
  • Public Holiday Pay: The averaging public holiday pay formula prescribed by Bill 148 will be repealed.
  • Misclassification: If there is a dispute over whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor, the bill eliminates the reverse onus on the employer to prove that an individual is not an employee.
  • Equal Pay for Equal Work: Certain aspects of the Equal Pay for Equal Work provision imposed by Bill 148 will be repealed, thereby permitting employers to differentiate pay on the basis of employment status  (part-time, casual, and temporary) and assignment employee status (temporary help agency status). The requirement for equal pay on the basis of sex will remain.
  • Penalties for Contravention: The government will be returning to the previous administrative penalties for violations of the Employment Standards Act (ESA). This means that the maximum penalties will decrease from $350/$700/$1500 to $250/$500/$1000, respectively
Bill 47 makes the following changes to the Labour Relations Act:
  • Card-based Certification:  Card-based certification on workers in home care, building services, and temporary help agencies will be repealed, giving workers the right to vote through a secret ballot.
  • Employee Lists:  Rules requiring an employer to hand over their employees’ personal information to a union will be repealed.
  • Remedial Certification: The proposed Act will reinstate the pre-Bill 148 test and preconditions for the OLRB to certify a union as remedy for employer misconduct.
  • Successor Rights:  The regulation-making authority granted by Bill 148 to expand successor rights to contract tendering for publicly-funded services (such as homecare) will be repealed.
  • Structure of Bargaining Units: It will repeal the power of the OLRB to review and consolidate newly certified bargaining units with existing bargaining units. Instead, the OLRB will be empowered to review the structure of bargaining units where the existing bargaining units are no longer appropriate for collective bargaining.
  • Return-to-work Rights: The changes will effect a return to the six month limitation on an employee’s right to reinstatement following the start of a strike or lock-out.
  • First Collective Agreement Mediation and Mediation-Arbitration: The Bill 148 first collective agreement mediation and mediation-arbitration provisions and provisions for educational support will be repealed and replaced with the pre-Bill 148 conditions for access to first agreement arbitration, where it appears to the OLRB that collective bargaining has been unsuccessful for specified reasons.
  • Fines: Previous maximum fines for offences under the LRA will be reinstated, resulting in a decrease in fines from $5,000 to $2,000 for individuals and from $100,000 to $25,000 for organizations.
  • Streamlining and Improving Processes: The proposed changes will expand and recognize alternative means of communications under the Act (e.g e-mail) for various types of documents and will allow the OLRB to make rules to expedite certain proceedings without the requirement of an order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Legislation Briefing
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2018 Bill 57 Provincial
Royal Assent
OHS Impact
Bill 57 proposes to amend a significant number of Ontario’s statutes, including the Pay Transparency Act, 2018, which was scheduled to come into effect on January 1, 2019. If passed, Bill 57 would change the commencement date of Ontario’s Pay Transparency Act, 2018 to a date to be determined by the cabinet.

 
Changes
As stated under the Pay Transparency Act, 2018, Certain employers would have increased reporting requirements relating to compensation.
  • Every employer with 100 or more employees (and every prescribed employer) would be required to prepare pay transparency reports.
  • Reports would include information relating to the employer, its workforce composition, and differences in compensation in the workforce with respect to gender and other prescribed characteristics.
  • Post these reports online or in a conspicuous place in every workplace of the employer, pay transparency reports would also have to be submitted to the Ministry, which would then publish these reports or otherwise make them available to the public.
The 2018 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review (Review), provides that “the government is proposing to delay the implementation date for the Pay Transparency Act, 2018 to allow for consultation.”
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2018 Bill 66 Provincial
1st Reading
OHS Impact
The proposed legislation includes amendments to several of Ontario’s workplace laws, including both the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (LRA). The bill proposes changes to regulations relating to toxic chemicals, employment standards, child care caps, safety in assembly plants, pawnbrokers, food safety testing, wireless cellphone contracts, agriculture, water extraction permits, wastewater treatment, private career colleges and more.
Changes
Employment Standards Act, 2000
  • Posting ESA Posters: proposes that employers no longer be required to post in the workplace a poster providing information about the ESA and its associated regulations. Instead, employers would only be required to give each employee a copy of the most recent version of the poster.
  • Eliminating Requirement to Obtain Approval: Employers would no longer be required to seek the approval of the Director approval to make agreements that allow their employees to exceed 48 hours of work in a work week (entering overtime).
  • Duration of Overtime Averaging Agreements: Under the current terms of the ESA, averaging agreements applicable to unionized employees cannot be valid for more than one year after they take effect.  Under Bill 66, these agreements will continue to be effective until a subsequent collective agreement applicable to the employees comes into operation.
  • Existing Averaging Agreements: Existing averaging agreements would be deemed to have met the requirements set out in the ESA, and would continue to be valid until the employer and employee agree to revoke it, the Director revokes it, or the Director’s approval expires.
Labour Relations Act, 1995
  • Deeming Non-Construction Employers: proposes to amend the LRA to deem municipalities and certain local boards, school boards, hospitals, colleges, universities, and public bodies to be non-construction employers.  Hence, these entities would not be bound to the construction industry collective agreements, and all existing agreements would be terminated.
  • Amending the Bargaining Unit: Trade unions that represent employees of these employers who are employed, or who may be employed, in the construction industry no longer represent those employees. These entities would be able to apply to the Ontario Labour Relations Board to have the composition of such bargaining units redefined.
The new legislation also impacts other areas of workplace law, including:
  • Pension Benefits Act: Remove restrictions on the ability of private-sector employers to merge their single-employer pension plans with jointly sponsored pension plans.
  • Agriculture: The proposed amendments would apply the Agriculture Employees Protection Act (AEPA) to ornamental horticultural workers. Employees covered by AEPA are not permitted to unionize, but they have the right to form associations for the purposes of making representations to their employer regarding working terms and conditions.
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2018 Provincial Offences Provincial
In Force
OHS Impact

Recent changes to Ontario health and safety law raise maximum fines against convicted individuals and corporations. On April 1st, 2018 the Ministry of Labour introduced over 280 Set Fines, which can be issued on the spot for non-compliance of the Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA) by employers & supervisors. These fines can be issued by MOL inspectors during their inspection blitzes that are currently ongoing.

Changes

The new Set Fines for these offences range from:

  • Lesser penalties scheduled for workers of either $250 or $350.
  • More significant penalties for supervisors of either $450 or $550.
  • The highest penalties for owners, constructors and employers of either $550 or $650.
Legislation Briefing (PDF)
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2018 Schedule 5 Bill 18 Provincial
Royal Assent
OHS Impact

On April 6th, 2018 the Ontario government proclaimed Schedule 5 of Bill 18, Stronger Workplaces for Stronger Economy Act (passed November 6th, 2014), which enables the Lieutenant Governor in Council to table new regulations to protect temporary help agency workers. (Reasons for Schedule 5 not coming into force at the time Bill 18 received Royal Assent are not disclosed).

Changes

As a result of Schedule 5 being proclaimed, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act can be amended by adding a definition for 'temporary help agency'. The Lieutenant Governor in Council may now table regulations that amend the WSIA and require the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to:

  • Deem all wages paid by the agency employer for work at the specific client employer to have been paid by the client employer
  • Attribute the injury and accident costs to the client employer
  • Increase or decrease the client employer's premiums.

If such regulations were to proceed, client employers (organizations contracting temporary help agency) would be required to:

  • Send notice of workplace injury requiring health care or an injury preventing a worker from earning full wages to the WSIB
  • To provide additional information as necessary.
  • Failure to meet notice requirements would result in set fines
Legislation Briefing

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