Announced in February, the MOL has indicated that the Changing
Workplaces Review will focus on potential changes to Ontario's
Employment Standards Act, 2000 and the Labour Relations Act, 1995.
This review is part of the MOL's broader mandate to implement employment and labour law
reforms in their effort to strengthen protections for vulnerable
workers and support businesses in today's evolving economy.
Specifically, the Changing Workplaces Review and consultations seek
The changing demographic of workers;
The increase in part-time work, temporary labour and
The growing proportion of service sector jobs;
The impact of technological change and globalization on the
modern workplace; and
The long-term decline in private-sector unionization.
To lead these consultations and provide a final report and
recommendations, the MOL has appointed two special advisors, C.
Michael Mitchell, a former senior partner at the union-side firm
Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP and the Honourable John C. Murray, a
former Ontario Superior Court Justice and management-side
The consultations began on June 16, 2015 will continue at public
meetings across Ontario throughout the summer. The MOL has
indicated that it will also be accepting written comments on the
Changing Workplaces Review until September 18, 2015
The MOL has published a Guide to Consultations which can be
found here. Given the questions posed in the Guide,
it can be expected that the eventual report will provide
recommendations on changing some of the minimum standards set out
in the Employment Standards Act (including with respect to hours of
work, leaves of absences and notice of termination) and will likely
also touch upon changes to the formation of unions under the Labour
While still in its preliminary stages, the eventual
recommendations and changes that will arise out of the Changing
Workplaces Review are likely to have a significant impact on
workplaces across Ontario. These changes would be in addition to
other recent changes to Ontario's employment and labour laws
which we have written about
We will be sure to provide updates as things progress, but in
the interim, if you have any questions regarding the Changing
Workplaces Review do not hesitate to contact anyone in our Labour
and Employment Law Group.
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.
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