Bill 18, the Stronger Workplace for a Stronger Economy Act,
2014, which received royal assent on November 20, 2014,
introduced significant changes to key provisions of the
Employment Standards Act, 2000 ("ESA") in order
to strengthen protections for workers. These changes have been
steadily phased in over the past several months and, effective May
20, 2015, employers must ensure that they are in compliance with
the ESA's new poster distribution and self-audit
New Poster Distribution Requirements
As of May 20, 2015, employers are now required to provide each
employee with a copy of the Ministry of Labour's most recent
published employment standards poster within 30 days of an
individual being hired, or, for existing employees, by no later
than June 19, 2015. This new requirement does not displace the
existing ESA requirement that employers must post a copy of the
poster in at least one conspicuous place at the workplace.
The employment standards poster is available on the
Ministry of Labour website. Employers must provide employees with a
copy of the poster in English. If an employee requests a copy of
the poster in a language other than English and the Ministry of
Labour has published a version of the poster in that language, the
employer must provide both the translated and English versions.
An employer has the option of providing the poster as a printed
copy or as an attachment in an email to the employee. Employers
also have the option of providing the poster via a link to the
document on an internet database that employees have reasonable
Self-Audits for Employers
Effective May 20, 2015, Employment Standards Officers
("ESO") have the authority to order an employer to
conduct a "self-audit" upon written notice and to report
any findings of that self-audit process as requested to the ESO.
Self-audits require employers to review their own records to show
ESOs that they are meeting the requirements of the ESA, which
include standards such as:
Hours of Work
Public Holiday Pay
Wages and Overtime
If the employer identifies non-wage related contraventions of
the ESA during a self-audit, the employer is required to advise the
ESO of the steps that the employer has taken or will take to comply
with the ESA. The ESO may still issue an order to pay wages or
direct compliance with the ESA if the ESO believes it is
appropriate to do so in the circumstances. Significantly, even if
an employer reports that it is in compliance with the ESA, the ESO
can still conduct an inspection or investigation of the workplace
to determine whether or not the employer has complied with the
Employers should familiarize themselves with these new changes
immediately to ensure ongoing compliance with the poster
distribution requirements, along with conducting a broader review
of their existing practices to fully comply with Bill 18. Miller
Thomson's Labour and Employment Group would be pleased to
assist you in reviewing your policies and understanding your
obligations under the ESA.
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.
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