On January 1, 2016, the employment standards provisions set out
in the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation made pursuant
to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act,
2005 come into force for large non-public sector employers in
the province. These new requirements will impact on key aspects of
employment including recruitment, selection, advancement and
By January 1, 2016, non-public sector employers in the province
with 50 or more employees will be required to do, amongst other
things, the following:
Notify employees and the public about
the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities
in the recruitment processes;
At the time that an offer is made,
notify successful applicants of the employer's policies for
accommodating employees with disabilities;
Provide or arrange to provide
accessible formats and communication supports for disabled
employees on request in order to enable the employee to access
information that is (a) needed in order to perform the
employee's job, and (b) generally available to employees in the
Develop and maintain a written
process for the development of documented individual accommodation
plans for employees with disabilities, which process must include
the following elements:
The manner in which an employee
requesting accommodation can participate in the development of the
individual accommodation plan.
The means by which the employee is
assessed on an individual basis.
The manner in which the employer can
request an evaluation by an outside medical or other expert, at the
employer's expense, to assist the employer in determining if
accommodation can be achieved and, if so, how accommodation can be
The manner in which the employee can
request the participation of a representative from their bargaining
agent, where the employee is represented by a bargaining agent, or
other representative from the workplace, where the employee is not
represented by a bargaining agent, in the development of the
The steps taken to protect the
privacy of the employee's personal information.
The frequency with which the
individual accommodation plan will be reviewed and updated and the
manner in which it will be done.
If an individual accommodation plan
is denied, the manner in which the reasons for the denial will be
provided to the employee.
The means of providing the individual
accommodation plan in a format that takes into account the
employee's accessibility needs due to disability.
Develop and maintain a return to work
process for employees who have been absent from work due to a
disability and require disability-related accommodations in order
to return to work, including the steps the employer will take to
facilitate the return to work; and
To take into account the
accessibility needs of employees with disabilities as well as any
individual accommodation plans when using performance management,
redeployment and/or providing career development and advancement to
employees with disabilities.
The new employment standards requirements are the latest phase
of the staggered implementation of the regulations made pursuant to
the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act,
2005, including the customer service regulation. For purposes
of the AODA, "disability" has the same definition as it
does in the Ontario Human Rights Code. These requirements
(amongst others) will not apply to volunteers or other non-paid
individuals in an organization.
These requirements – with some exemptions – will
come into force for small non-public sector employers (i.e. those
with fewer than 50 employees in Ontario) on January 1, 2017.
In advance of the deadline, HR departments should review
existing practices, written policies and other employment
documents, including template job postings, applications and job
offers to ensure they are consistent with the new standards. While
not expressly required at this time, HR departments may want to
provide additional training to supervisors, managers and others in
the workplace responsible for recruiting, selection, and those who
manage and facilitate the return to work and accommodation process.
Large non-public sector employers were required to provide this
training by January 1, 2015.
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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The arbitrator's decision covered a number of issues including whether the termination was appropriate and whether the City had breached the grievor's human rights. The following, however, will focus on the privacy issue raised.
In my December 15, 2016 article, Federal Government's Cannabis Report: What does it mean for employers?, I noted the Report's1 suggestion that there was a lack of research to reliably determine when individuals are impaired by cannabis.
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