Employers who deal with Ontario Ministry of Labour inspectors
may wish to review the Ontario government's Regulator's
Code of Practice. That Code applies to MOL inspectors and
other government compliance staff, and sets out principles that the
inspectors and other compliance staff are expected to follow.
Interestingly, the Code states that government inspectors should
be "compliance-focused" rather than
"enforcement-focused", which in the context of MOL
inspectors, appears to mean focused on helping employers maintain a
safe working environment rather than focused on laying charges
against employers under the Occupational Health and Safety
The Code states that a compliance-focus requires the inspector
to "focus on the objectives of regulatory law and policy and
then consider the most innovative, efficient and effective method
of achieving compliance."
In an apparent recognition of the challenging economic climate
for many Ontario employers, particularly those in the manufacturing
industry, the Code states that government inspectors and regulators
should do their jobs in a way that "allows businesses to
better focus on increasing competitiveness and economic growth
while complying with Ontario's rules and regulations".
The Code goes on to suggest that government compliance staff,
including MOL inspectors, should classify employers into four
categories, and treat them as follows:
"For those who are in full compliance,
consider providing compliance assistance.
For situations where there is no previous history of
non-compliance, consider providing compliance assistance
as well as progressive compliance and enforcement action, where
For situations where there is repeated history of
non-compliance, consider using progressive compliance and
For situations where the level of risk is immediate and
serious, use your organization's appropriate
Those four categories suggest what is already commonly
understood: that employers with a history of non-compliance with
the OHSA are more likely to be charged at least in cases of
relatively minor safety violations than employers with a history of
The Code also states that compliance staff should demonstrate
honesty and integrity, respect, objectivity, confidentiality,
knowledge and competencies.
FMC is one of Canada's leading business and litigation law
firms with more than 500 lawyers in six full-service offices
located in the country's key business centres. We focus on
providing outstanding service and value to our clients, and we
strive to excel as a workplace of choice for our people. Regardless
of where you choose to do business in Canada, our strong team of
professionals possess knowledge and expertise on regional, national
and cross-border matters. FMC's well-earned reputation for
consistently delivering the highest quality legal services and
counsel to our clients is complemented by an ongoing commitment to
diversity and inclusion to broaden our insight and perspective on
our clients' needs. Visit:
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Ten days following the election, join us for a discussion with Gary Doer, former Canadian Ambassador to the US, and Gordon Giffin, US Ambassador to Canada under Bill Clinton, to discuss how the new President and Congressional makeup will shape US-Canada relations for years to come.
On November 8, 2016, the United States will go to the polls to elect their 45th president. Whether it is Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, this decision will profoundly shape American policy for the next four to eight years. As our largest trading partner and neighbour to the south, the next US administration will influence a broad range of policy issues that directly impact Canada. These include the future of NAFTA and the TPP, the Arctic and geo-politics, the renewal of the Softwood Lumber Agreement, and the energy sector.
On Thursday, September 22, 2016, Dentons hosted a panel discussion about the management of liabilities and risks associated with environmental crises, including potential liabilities for directors and officers and provided insight into risk and liability techniques associated with environmental crisis management.
Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).