The Ministry of Labour has announced a targeted compliance blitz
focused on "repeat violators" of the Employment
Standards Act, 2000 (the ESA). The blitz will take place
during both September and October 2016. Although the Ministry did
not define "repeat violators," it is safe to assume that
it refers to employers who have been prior recipients of compliance
orders or successful claims under the ESA.
The employment standards officers conducting the blitz have been
instructed to take a zero tolerance approach toward repeat
offenders under the ESA. Ministry of Labour inspectors have
the ability to make orders and recommend fines on the basis of a
site inspection alone and it appears that this blitz is intended to
encourage a broader use of those powers in order to encourage
greater adherence to the ESA by repeat offenders. The Ministry has
created a video guide to workplace inspections, which is available on YouTube. If you receive
advance notice of an inspection we strongly recommend reaching out
to your employment lawyers to discuss how you should prepare and
The blitz will be focused primarily on employers in professional
services, amusement and recreation industries and the personal care
services industry, which the Ministry notes as areas in which
precarious employment is common. Employers in these industries are
well advised to conduct a review of their practices to ensure that
they are up-to-date with provincial minimum standards with respect
to holiday pay, overtime, hours of work, vacation with pay, wage
statements, posting requirements and other common areas of
Employers should also be mindful of the fact that the general
minimum wage increases from $11.25 per hour to $11.40 per hour,
student minimum wage increases to $10.70 per hour and the liquor
servers' minimum wage increases to $9.90 per hour. All
changes take effect as of October 1, 2016, which is in the midst of
the Ministry of Labour's blitz.
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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