Just in time for the holidays, the Conservative’s introduced Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018 which, if passed, will further amend the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 and build on the amendments introduced by Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018.
Bill 66 was introduced on December 6, 2018 by Todd Smith, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and, if passed, would result in “over 30 actions to make it easier for businesses to create jobs”. At first glance, these are some of the changes to the the Labour Relations Act, 1995 and Employment Standards Act, 2000:
- The Employment Standards Act, 2000 is amended by requiring the Director of Employment Standards, not the Minister, to prepare a poster. The poster must be provided to each employee by the employer but Bill 66 eliminates the requirement that it also be posted in the workplace.
- The employer is no longer required to obtain the approval of the Director of Employment Standards for excess hours beyond 48 in a week. The agreement of the employee in writing is still required.
- Similarly, the employer is no longer required to obtain the approval of the Director of Employment Standards to engage in overtime averaging. The employee’s hours may be averaged in accordance with the terms of an averaging agreement between the employee and the employer over a period that does not exceed four weeks.
- The Labour Relations Act, 1995 is amended by deeming municipalities and certain local boards, school boards, hospitals, colleges, universities and public bodies to be non-construction employers. Trade unions that represent employees of these employers who are employed, or who may be employed, in the construction industry no longer represent those employees. Furthermore, any collective agreement binding the employer and the trade union ceases to apply in so far as it applies to the construction industry.
There are, of course, other changes that impact employers, but these are the ones that stood out to me on a quick initial read. The government has published a Backgrounder – Proposed Changes to Create Jobs and Reduce Regulatory Burden in Specific Sectors along with a News Release – Ontario’s Government for the People Cutting Red Tape to Help Create Jobs. Bill 66 carried First Reading today.