Canada: Big Changes In The Wind For Ontario Employers

Bill 146, (the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2013), recently received its first reading. If enacted, Bill 146 will have significant implications for Ontario employers as a direct result of amendments it will make to the following employment legislation:

  • Employment Standards Act, 2000
  • Labour Relations Act, 1995
  • Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act (Live-in Caregivers and Others), 2009
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997

Among the potential changes, the amendments propose to increase the cost of administrative orders that may be made against employers; make more onerous the record-keeping and administrative obligations regarding individuals not directly employed by employers; enhance workplace health and safety obligations to include a broader category of worker; and reduce the opportunities for unionized construction employees to bring decertification applications to the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

The following summarizes the amendments proposed by Bill 146. We will continue to monitor Bill 146's status and provide updates on its progress.

Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA)

Currently, an employment standards officer may not issue an order to pay wages owed to an employee that exceeds $10,000. If Bill 146 is enacted, there will be no monetary limit on orders to pay wages.

In addition, Bill 146 will allow an employee to recover wages owed up to two years before the date of a complaint, an increase from the current ability to recover wages owed within six months of the date of a complaint.

Part XVIII.1 of the ESA sets out "Temporary Help Agencies" provisions (Provisions). The Provisions set out the rights and obligations of employees of temporary help agencies and the employers who hire them. Notable is section 74.3 and section 74.4(3) of the Provisions, which make clear that a temporary employee is the employee of the agency that assigns him or her work, and not of the employer to whom he or she is assigned.  

Despite this, Bill 146 will impose obligations on employers who retain temporary employees assigned by an agency. Ontario employers would now be required to record the number of hours performed by assignment employees on each day and week and would be required to retain those records for three years. Records must also be available for inspection by the Ministry of Labour, if requested. Enhanced record-keeping obligations for the temporary help agency are also contemplated by Bill 146.

In addition, Bill 146 will make the Ontario employer jointly and severally liable with the temporary help agency for any wages owed to the employee by the temporary help agency. Proceedings to recover those wages can run concurrently.

Bill 146 will require employers to perform "self-audits" of their ESA compliance and provide the results of those audits to the Ministry of Labour, if ordered to do so by an employment standards officer. Notice from the employment standards officer will set out the audit's parameters, including the period of review and any ESA provisions or employment practices at issue. Employers will be required to self-assess whether they have breached the ESA and whether any wages are owed to employees as a result of the audit. At the request of the employment standards officer, an employer would also be required to set out how they will prevent future contraventions of the legislation.

The ESA currently requires employers to post an employment standards poster titled, "What You Should Know About The Employment Standards Act" in a conspicuous location in the workplace. If the workplace's majority language is not English, an employer must ask the Ministry of Labour whether the poster has been produced in that other language. If enacted, Bill 146 will also require employers to provide a copy of the poster to its employees within 30 days of their date of hire. The poster must be provided in the language requested by the employee, if a translation of the poster in that language has been prepared by the Ministry of Labour. Employers will have to provide current employees with a copy of the poster within 30 days of the date Bill 146 is enacted.

Labour Relations Act, 1995 (LRA)

Bill 146 will only effect changes to the construction industry provisions of the LRA, by enabling a trade union to "raid" a bargaining unit represented by another union in the last two months of a collective agreement. The LRA currently contemplates the ability to undertake a raid, although only in the last three months of a collective agreement. The amendments will therefore shorten the window within which such an application could be made in the construction industry.

Similarly, Bill 146 will shorten the period in which a decertification application could be brought. Currently, any bargaining unit employee can bring a decertification application in the last three months of a collective agreement's term. The proposed amendments would impose a more limited ability to bring a decertification application, within the last two months of a collective agreement in the construction industry.

Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act (Live-in Caregivers and Others), 2009 (EPFNA)

Bill 146 will amend the title of the EPFNA to the Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act, 2009.

In tandem with the change to the legislation's title, Bill 146 will expand current EPFNA protections to "every foreign national" who is part of a foreign employee program and is, or is attempting to be, employed in Ontario. In effect, the legislation's application would be widened from live-in caregivers, to whom the legislation currently primarily applies, to any foreign national employed or attempting to become employed in Ontario. Current EPFNA protections include prohibitions on:

  • The ability of a recruiter to charge fees to a foreign national caregiver seeking employment;
  • The ability of an employer to recover fees or costs paid to obtain the services of a foreign national caregiver;
  • The ability of a recruiter or an employer to seize a foreign national caregiver's property, including a passport or work permit;
  • Reprisals by a recruiter or an employer against a foreign national caregiver who seeks to enforce his or her legal rights or who participates in a legal proceeding under the legislation or the ESA.

Record-keeping obligations and penalties for breaches of the legislation and the ESA are also set out in the current EPFNA.

Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)

For OHSA purposes, a worker is defined as a person who "performs work or supplies services for monetary compensation." As a result, workers, for OHSA purposes, are only those individuals who are receiving monetary compensation. If enacted, Bill 146 will expand the definition of a worker to include some individuals who are performing work or providing services but not receiving monetary compensation. The exceptions to the existing definition of a worker will be limited, as follows:

  • A secondary school student performing work or supplying services under a work experience program authorized by the school board that operates the school in which the student is enrolled;
  • A person working or supplying services under a program approved by a post-secondary institution;
  • A person who receives training from an employer, even if he or she is not an employee for ESA purposes because he or she is receiving unpaid training in the circumstances described in section 1(2) of the ESA. Such training would generally arise in the course of an unpaid internship; and
  • Any other person who is prescribed (e.g., set out in a regulation to the OHSA) in the future.

Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA)

Bill 146 will alter reporting obligations where a worker of a temporary employment agency is injured while performing work for an Ontario employer. An employer using a temporary employment agency's services will be required to report any injury that requires health care, or results in a worker not being able to earn full wages, within three days of the incident. This provision would apply despite the fact that the WSIA deems the worker to be an employee of the temporary help agency and not of the employer accessing their services.

Furthermore, an employer who uses the services of a temporary help agency will have its experience and merit rating programs affected by injuries sustained by workers dispatched by temporary employment agencies.

Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Norton Rose Fulbright is a global legal practice. We provide the world's pre-eminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. We have more than 3800 lawyers based in over 50 cities across Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Recognized for our industry focus, we are strong across all the key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare.

Wherever we are, we operate in accordance with our global business principles of quality, unity and integrity. We aim to provide the highest possible standard of legal service in each of our offices and to maintain that level of quality at every point of contact.

Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright Australia, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa (incorporated as Deneys Reitz Inc) and Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, each of which is a separate legal entity, are members ('the Norton Rose Fulbright members') of Norton Rose Fulbright Verein, a Swiss Verein. Norton Rose Fulbright Verein helps coordinate the activities of the Norton Rose Fulbright members but does not itself provide legal services to clients.

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

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
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).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions