Ontario simplifies some employment and labor rules for employers 

Ontario Simplifies Some Employment and Labor Rules for Employers
May 02, 2019

Employment and labor law changes in Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, aimed at reducing “red tape” received Royal Assent on 3 Apr 2019.


Key provisions include the following updates to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and the Labour Relations Act (LRA).

Employment Standards Act

ESA poster. The director of employment standards, instead of the minister of labour, is now responsible for preparing and publishing the poster that explains rights and obligations under the ESA. Employers no longer have to post the poster but must provide employees with a copy within 30 days of hire.

Excess hours in work week. Employers no longer need the director’s approval to make agreements with employees to work more than 48 hours per work week.

Overtime averaging. Employers calculating overtime pay no longer need the director’s approval to make agreements with an employee to average the employee’s hours of work over a period not exceeding four weeks.

Labour Relations Act (LRA)

Nonconstruction employer. Under the LRA, the construction industry is treated differently from other industries. The revised LRA reduces the number of organizations classified as construction sector employers — for example, municipalities, hospitals and colleges are no longer construction employers. Trade unions covering the construction sector won’t be allowed to represent employees in organizations that aren’t in the sector, and provisions in the unions’ collective agreements that had applied to the construction sector will no longer do so.

A temporary arrangement will enable employers now considered nonconstruction employers to opt out from the new rules until 3 July 2019 — three months after the date of Royal Assent. The rest of the revised LRA will take effect on a date named by proclamation of the lieutenant governor.

Related Resources

  • Bill 66 (Legislative Assembly of Ontario)
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