On November 6, 2023, the Ontario government advised of more potential changes ahead for Ontario employers.
- New legislation that, if passed, would require employers to include expected salary ranges in job postings (again).
The previous government passed the Pay Transparency Act, 2018, but the present government never proclaimed the statute into force. It is uncertain at this time whether the Ontario government's new proposal will mirror this statute.
Other provinces have already enacted pay transparency laws, such as British Columbia and Prince Edward Island. We expect that pay transparency issues will continue to gain traction in other provinces.
- New legislation that would make Ontario the first jurisdiction in Canada to require businesses to disclose if artificial intelligence (AI) is used during their hiring process.
While this may provide greater transparency in the hiring process, it is uncertain at this time to what extent employers will have to provide particulars regarding their use of AI.
- The Ontario government will consult on banning non-disclosure agreements in the case of specific issues such as workplace harassment and misconduct.
The members of the New Democratic Party proposed legislation on this matter back in June 2023 under Bill 124, Stopping the Misuse of Non-Disclosure Agreements Act, 2023. Bill 124 would prohibit any party responsible (as defined in the Act) from entering into a non-disclosure agreement with a relevant person (i.e., a person who has experienced or made an allegation of one of the underlying acts such as discrimination or harassment) if the non-disclosure agreement has the purpose or effect of concealing the details of the incident. The Bill includes an exception for situations in which the relevant person expressly wishes to enter into the agreement, in addition to requirements for such an agreement to be enforceable and the limits on such an agreement. It is uncertain at this time whether the Ontario government's new legislation will mirror Bill 124.
Other provinces have already considered similar laws. Prince Edward Island enacted the Non-Disclosure Agreements Act in November 2021. More recently in Manitoba, Bill 225: The Non-Disclosure Agreements Act first tabled in April 2022 did not proceed.
Gowling WLG's Employment, Labour & Equalities Group will continue to monitor these developments closely. In the meantime, please contact the author for more information.
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