Now that the first anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic is here and there is hope that there will not be a second based on vaccinations, here is an HR Check List that employers should consider as our economy will be re-opening:

Ontario employers are required by law to have the following workplace policies:

  • an Accessibility Policy;
  • a Pay Equity Plan (employers with 10 or more employees);
  • a Workplace Health and Safety Policy;
  • a Workplace Violence and Harassment Policy; and
  • COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan.

While not required by law, there are other policies that employers should consider implementing, including:

  • an Absenteeism Policy;
  • an Accommodation Policy;
  • a Human Rights Policy;
  • an Intoxicants Policy (updated to address medical and non-medical cannabis in addition to alcohol, prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs and illegal drugs);
  • an Investigations Policy;
  • a Privacy Policy; and
  • a Social Media Policy.

Ontario employers are required by law to carry out:

  • Accessibility training;
  • Harassment prevention and training;
  • Health and Safety prevention and training; and
  • Violence prevention and training.

Postings required by law in Ontario workplaces include:

  • Poster: "Health & Safety at Work: Prevention Starts Here";
  • Poster: "What you Need to Know" about the Employment Standards Act;
  • Poster: "In Case of Injury" if your workplace is covered by the WSIB;
  • Copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act must be available on site;
  • your COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan

Health and Safety Committee or Representative are required by law in Ontario workplaces:

  • A Joint Health and Safety Committee must be formed and trained if your organization employs 20 or more employees.
  • A Health and Safety Representative must be selected and trained if your organization employs more than 5 but less than 20 employees.

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act ("AODA"):

  • June 30, 2021 is the extended deadline for organizations with 20 or more employees in Ontario to file an Accessibility Compliance Report. The Report form and additional information is available online from the Government of Ontario. Small organizations having more than 20 but fewer than 50 employees are only required to complete an accessibility report with respect to the accessibility standards for customer service.
  • June 30, 2021 is the extended deadline for organizations with 50 or more employees in Ontario to make website and web content accessible to the WCAG 2.0 standard.

Annual Document Update:

Review your employment agreements, employee handbooks and employment policies to ensure that they are compliant with the latest statutory revisions and judicial decisions.

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.