As another year ends, businesses across Ontario are preparing for the holidays and planning for the year ahead. For many, this means new strategy, new products, new services; and while this time of year is different for every business, it is important to note that if you are an employer of 20 or more employees, it is also time to submit your companies Accessibility Compliance Report.
What is the Accessibility Compliance Report?
The Accessibility Compliance Report is a part of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, or AODA, which came into effect in 2005 to identify, remove and prevent barriers for people with disabilities. The AODA applies to all levels of government, nonprofits and private sector businesses in Ontario and is made up of five standards:
- Customer Service Standard
- Information and Communication Standard
- Employment Standard
- Transportation Standard
- Design of Public Spaces Standard
While most businesses are aware of the AODA mandate and have been taking steps and making provisions to meet these new standards, the Ontario government has also taken steps to ensure that compliance is met, and this is in the form of the Accessibility Compliance Report.
By December 31, 2017, all organizations and businesses that have 20 or more employees must file an online AODA compliance report with the Government of Ontario to confirm their continued adherence with the AODA.
This is especially important for businesses that are new or have grown since the first Accessibility Compliance Report was requested back in 2014 as it may not have applied to them at the time.
Under the law, you must submit an accessibility compliance report if you are:
- a business or non-profit organization with 20 or more employees
- a designated public-sector organization
However, being unaware of this mandate is no excuse, for noncompliance comes with some stiff penalties.
Failure to comply with reporting (and other obligations) under the AODA could result in:
- A fine of up to $100,000 per day for a corporation/organization that is found guilty.
- A fine of up to $50,000 per day for directors and officers of a corporation/organization that is found guilty.
How to File a Compliance Report
In order for a business or organization to complete the online form, they will need:
- legal name
- business number (BN9 – found in your federal or provincial tax return)
- number of employees
- name and contact information of your certifier (a senior officer with legal authority to say that the report is complete and accurate)
Although many businesses may view the AODA and filing an Accessibility Compliance as another hurdle to jump, improving accessibility for all Ontarians is not only the right thing to do, it is also good for business.
If your business is ready to expand and grow, you are going to need the right talent. That is why partnering with the staffing industry experts at Employment Professionals Canada can not only help your business grow, but prosper. Contact us today and find out how we can work for you.