Talking About Financial Matters That Affect You and Your Organization
Apr 25th, 2019
Recently in Ontario, the Conservative government passed the “Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2019”. This act amends several pieces of legislation across a number of different ministries including the Ministry of Labour. The ultimate goal of Bill 66 is increased flexibility for employers in Ontario. Changes that have resulted with this Bill’s passing touch many areas of the workforce, for both the employer and the employee. Some of the key points include:
• Employment Standards Act- removes the requirement for employers to post the government’s summary of key ESA rights in the workplace, but employers are still required to hand out the poster to employees.
• Government Approval for Employees Working Over 48 Hours/Week- repeals the requirement for the government to approve employees working greater than 48 hours in week. Under the old Section 17(3) an employee could only work greater than 48 hours in a week if the employee agreed to this and the employer received an approval from the Director of Employment Standards.
• Averaging Agreements- allows employers to average workers hours during pay periods to avoid paying overtime
o For example: an employer required an employee to work two 55-hour weeks followed by two 10 hours weeks. Since the “average” hours worked is only 32.5 per week, the overtime threshold of 44 hours in a week is not met and so no overtime pay is required.
To adjust to the changes that Bill 66 has brought, employers can begin by reviewing workplace policies and employment agreements to ensure thy are inline with this new piece of legislation. Human Resource professionals can also begin to think strategically and look to potential benefits in business operations, such as planning production cycles. Though Bill 66 has resulted in considerable change for both employers and employees, once a period of adjustment has occurred, it will allow both sides to understand the full impact of this bill.