Occupational Health & Safety Legislation Tracker

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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 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 C-44 Federal
Royal Assent
OHS Impact
This omnibus legislation expands access to unpaid leaves of absence, amends the Canada Labour Code, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act, the Public Service Labour Relations Act and the Income Tax Act.
Changes
 Division 17 of Part 4 amends the Canada Labour Code to:
  • Provide a complaint mechanism under Part III of that Act for employer reprisals
  • Permit the Minister of Labour to order an employer to determine, following an internal audit, whether it is compliance with a provision of Part III and to provide the Minister with a corresponding report
  • Establish an administrative monetary penalty scheme to supplement existing enforcement measures under Parts II and III of that Act.
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2017 C-46 Federal
Royal Assent Senate
OHS Impact

The federal Government published a proposal to establish three new criminal offences in order to strengthen the criminal law approach to drug-impaired driving in advance of the legalization of cannabis. These new offences would prohibit individuals from having certain levels of impairing drugs in their blood within two hours of driving.

Changes

These new offences would prohibit individuals from having certain levels of impairing drugs in their blood within two hours of driving. If passed, three new criminal driving offences related to being at, or over, a prescribed blood drug concentration (BDC) level within two hours of driving will be enacted as the following:

  1. a summary conviction offence for low drug levels
  2. a hybrid offence for higher/impairing drug levels
  3. a hybrid offence for a combination of low BAC and low BDC.

The penalties for the proposed hybrid offences would mirror the penalties for the current hybrid offences for alcohol-impaired driving. They would be punishable by mandatory penalties of $1,000 for a first offence with escalating penalties for repeat offenders (e.g. 30 days imprisonment on a second offence and 120 days on a third or subsequent offence). The penalty for the separate summary conviction offence for a low BDC would be punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000. The BDC levels set out in the draft regulatory text in Annex A are intended to make it easier to prosecute drug-impaired drivers and to send a clear message to the public about the dangers of using impairing drugs while driving.

If Bill C-46 receives royal assent, the Government would seek Governor-in- Council approval for regulations establishing the new legal BDC offence levels, thereby allowing the offence provisions to be effectively enforced. To further facilitate enforcement, Bill C-46 would also permit a peace officer to demand a blood sample from a driver if they had reasonable grounds to believe that a driver was committing a drug-impaired driving offence.

Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2017 C-65 Federal
Royal Assent
OHS Impact

This amendment will strengthen the existing framework for the prevention of harassment and violence, including sexual harassment and sexual violence, in the workplace, and will extend the occupational health and safety provisions of the Canada Labor Code to Parliamentary employers and employees.

Changes

Part 1 of the Act amends the Canada Labor Code to strengthen the current framework for the prevention of workplace harassment and violence, including sexual harassment and violence, by requiring employers to:

  • Investigate, record and report all accidents, occurrences of harassment or violence, occupational illnesses and other hazardous occurrences known to the employer
  • Take prescribed measures to prevent and protect against harassment and violence and to offer support to employees affected
  • Prescribe appropriate procedures to handle investigations of complaints

Legislation Briefing
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 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 C-63 Federal
Royal Assent
OHS Impact

This Bill will, make a number of changes to scheduling practices and leaves of absence under the Canada Labour Code impacting all employers within the federal jurisdiction.

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 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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