The Ontario government has released the text of its latest employment legislation, the fourth in a serios of Working for Workers Acts. These acts have made some changes to various pieces of Ontario legislation including the Employment Standards Act, 2000. The latest act, the Working for Workers Four Act, 2023 (“WWF4”) amends several pieces of legislation including the ESA and the Digital Platform Workers’ Rights Act, 2022. The WWF4 is currently being ordered for second reading, so amendments may still be made to the text. As more information is released, please check back with us for updates or contact us at Bridge Legal and HR Solutions at (647) 794-5442 or email@example.com.
The changes found in WWF4 are relatively minor, and several of the changes are clarifications of rules that were already in place prior to the introduction of WWF4 with a couple of notable exceptions.
One change is an update to the definition of the word “employee” to include individuals who are performing work during a “trial period”. This is intended to capture individuals who have not yet been “officially” hired but are working to prove their skills to a prospective employer. Employees cannot be made to attend “unpaid” training, and this is a further cementing of this fact.
Even prior to this amendment an argument that individuals in training or “trial” are employees could be made, this amendment simply makes this argument easier to make. Employers in Ontario should be assured that if an individual comes in a does work for them even on a trial basis, they will be considered an employee entitled to minimum standards (except in the case of valid contractors).
Salary Ranges and Canadian Experience
Another change, and a more significant change for Ontario employers, is a new requirement to post salary ranges on job postings. The WWF4 leaves the details open for regulation, so stay tuned, but the general requirement is that employers must post a salary range or the expected salary of a position in publicly advertised job postings. It is certain that further details will follow on this topic including with respect to any exemptions or limitations.
In addition, employers will be prohibited from including any requirements related to “Canadian Experience” in job postings or associated applications. This is intended to address an ongoing problem frequently cited by newcomers to Canada that employers in Ontario (and elsewhere in the country) put a particular emphasis on “Canadian Experience” as opposed to similar or identical experience from another country. While this discriminatory practice may be difficult to uproot, Ontario appears to be the first province to make the attempt to tackle it.
Use of Artificial Intelligence and Job Posting Retention
Employers who use artificial intelligence to screen, assess, or select applicants for advertised positions will be required to disclose the use of artificial intelligence. Again, this is subject to regulation, so stay tuned for more details for exemptions, limitations, and further information.
In addition, all job postings posted by an employer will need to be retained for a period of three years from the date that the posting is taken down.
Other changes are related to the administration of tips in tipped positions such as restaurant servers. New rules about payment of tips are coming into effect including to methods of payment. One particular change is the requirement for a policy to be posted if the employer pools and shares tips among its employees. This policy must also be retained for a period of three years after it ceases to be in effect.
If you need assistance with a job posting or legal advice in Ontario or anywhere in Canada, or employment law support, or human resources, please do not hesitate to contact Bridge Legal and HR Solutions at (647) 794-5442 or firstname.lastname@example.org.