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New provincial legislation has been put in place that will have an impact on Ontario’s workforce.

Bill 66, also known as the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, was introduced in December 2018 and passed at Queen’s Park on April 2, 2019.

Here’s what employers and employees need to know.

The Province says the goal of Bill 66 is to loosen restrictions and regulations on businesses and employers across Ontario, falling in line with Premier Doug Ford’s overall aim to make Ontario “open for business.”

By clearing up “bureaucratic red tape,” the Bill claims to free up businesses thousands of dollars on average per year from following regulations, totalling savings in the millions across Ontario.

There’s a lot to unpack in this bill, but the biggest question is what this means for businesses and their employees.

The Bill makes changes within 12 sectors across the province, including the Ministries of Finance, Labour, Education, and Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Bill 66 also loosen regulatory restrictions by approximately 25 percent according to the Government’s information.

The changes brought about by Bill 66 are sweeping, and include changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). These are just a few of the highlights.

  • The new legislation amends the ESA to no longer require approval from the Director of Employment Standards of an application for excess hours of work and overtime averaging.
  • Employers are still required to enter into written agreements with employees to have employees work extra hours and to average overtime hours worked. Employers can only average an employee’s hours of work for the purposes of calculating overtime pay over a maximum of four weeks.
  • Bill 66 removes the requirement for employers to provide both the ESA poster to employees and post it in the workplace. Employers are only required to provide the most updated version of the ESA poster to the employees.

A copy of Bill 66 can be read online on the Legislative Assembly of Ontario website.

As always, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Employment Professionals Canada for more information about how these changes affect Ontario’s workplace.


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