The Ontario Ministry of Labour has announced that it is taking
steps to increase its enforcement of the Employment Standards
Central to the new enforcement initiative is the hiring of an
additional 18 Employment Standards Officers and staff, and the
conducting of more proactive workplace inspections. Practically
speaking, this means that ESOs will attend at
provincially-regulated Ontario employers' places of business
without a complaint being filed, and without any warning, to
conduct inspections of the businesses' practices, policies, and
records for compliance with the ESA. In such cases, employers are
required to co-operate with the inspection and to produce documents
requested by the ESO. In turn, ESOs have the power to issue
compliance orders or orders to pay and, in some cases, to lay
charges against the employer.
Employment standards investigations are time-consuming and may
be costly for businesses, both in terms of the resources that must
be devoted to the audit itself and, potentially, in rectifying ESA
compliance issues and paying amounts owing under any orders
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Labour and employment law had some interesting developments in 2016. What follows are a few highlights from the last year and an introduction to an issue that may attract significant attention in 2017.
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