Occupational Health & Safety Legislation Tracker

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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 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
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 Bill C-86 Federal
1st Reading
OHS Impact
If passed, the Bill will make substantial changes to the Canada Labour Code and enact a federal Pay Equity Act, among other things.
 
Changes
​On October 29, 2018, the Federal Government introduced Bill C-86, the Budget Implementation Act, 2018.  In addition to introducing long-anticipated pay equity legislation, the proposed legislation would make significant changes to the labour standards in Part III of the Canada Labour Code.

The highlights of the proposed legislation are:
Proposed new Pay Equity Legislation:
  • If passed, Bill C-86 will enact a new Pay Equity Act that establishes a "proactive" pay equity framework under which employers will need to take up-front steps to eliminate pay differences between men and women.
  • The pay equity framework will apply to public and private sector employers that have 10 or more employees.
  • Employers will be required to establish and maintain a pay equity plan that identifies and corrects differences in compensation between jobs of equal value.
  • A Pay Equity Commissioner will facilitate the resolution of disputes, conduct compliance audits, investigate disputes, objections, and complaints, and have the power to make orders and impose administrative monetary penalties for violations of the legislation.   
Changes to the Canada Labour Code:
  • Pay Equity between Employment Statuses  - Employers will be prohibited from paying employees different rates of pay because of their "employment status" (i.e. full-time vs. part-time, casual, temporary, etc.) subject to narrow exceptions.
New Leaves - Employees will be entitled to new leaves, including:    
  • Five days of personal leave, including three paid days;
  • Five days of paid leave for victims of family violence; and,
  • The current minimum length of service requirements for leaves and holiday pay will be eliminated.
Notice of Termination - Employees will be entitled to significantly greater notice of termination or pay in lieu.  Specifically:    
  • Individual employees will be entitled to two weeks' notice if the employee has completed at least three months and less than three years of continuous employment.  After at least three years of continuous employment, the entitlement is one week's notice or pay in lieu for each year of continuous employment up to a maximum of eight (8) weeks' notice.
  • Employees who are terminated in a "group termination" would be entitled to a minimum of eight (8) weeks' notice of termination or pay in lieu thereof.
  • Vacation - Employees will be entitled to paid vacation as follows:    
  • Two weeks' vacation after one year of employment;    
  • Three weeks' vacation after five years of employment;    
  • Four weeks' vacation after 10 years of employment
Enforcement - The legislation would establish a Head of Compliance and Enforcement who will exercise most of the powers and perform most of the functions and duties that are related to Part II (Occupation Health and Safety), Part III (Labour Standards), and the still not-in-force Part IV, which relates to compliance with the Code.

Bill C-86 includes a variety of other changes to labour standards that would also have a meaningful impact on employers, such as in the area of scheduling and the treatment of independent contractors.  These changes appear to be heavily inspired by Ontario's Bill 148, which was passed in 2017 but is now being largely repealed by the new Ontario government.

Legislation Briefing
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2018 C-81 Federal
1st Reading Senate
OHS Impact
Bill C-81 enacts the Accessible Canada Act in order to enhance the full and equal participation of all persons, especially persons with disabilities, in society. This is to be achieved through the progressive realization, within the purview of matters coming within the legislative authority of Parliament, of a Canada without barriers, particularly by the identification, removal and prevention of barriers.
Changes
  • Part 1 of the Act establishes the Minister’s mandate, powers, duties and functions.
  • Part 2 of the Act establishes the Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization and provides for its mandate and structure and its powers, duties and functions.
  • Part 3 of the Act authorizes the Accessibility Commissioner to provide the Minister with information, advice and written reports in respect of the administration and enforcement of the Act. It also requires annual report submissions.
  • Part 4 of the Act imposes duties on regulated entities that include the duty to prepare accessibility plans and progress reports in consultation with persons with disabilities. These plans must also be published.
  • Part 5 of the Act provides for the Accessibility Commissioner’s inspection, including production orders and compliance orders and administrative monetary penalties.
  • Part 6 of the Act provides for a complaints process for, and the awarding of compensation to, individuals that have suffered physical or psychological harm, property damage or economic loss as the result of the contravention of provisions of these regulations.
  • Part 7 of the Act provides for the appointment of the Chief Accessibility Officer and sets out that officer’s duties and functions, including the duty to advise the Minister in respect of systemic or emerging accessibility issues.
  • Part 8 of the Act authorizes the Governor in Council to make regulations, including regulations to establish accessibility standards and to specify the form of accessibility plans and progress reports. It also provides, among other things, for the designation of the week starting on the last Sunday in May as National AccessAbility Week.
  • Part 9 of the Act provides for the application of certain provisions of the Act to parliamentary entities, without limiting the powers, privileges and immunities of the Senate and the House of Commons.
  • Parts 10 and 11 of the Act make related and consequential amendments to certain Acts.

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