Doing Business in Ontario: Five Workplace Laws that Employers Need to Know
The employment relationship is heavily regulated in Ontario.
This blog identifies five laws that apply to most workplaces.
- Employment Standards Act. This law sets out the minimum terms and conditions of employment that are deemed to be included in all employment contracts. This includes minimum wages, statutory holidays, overtime pay, and termination pay. For more information on recent amendments to this law, exceptions to the general obligations, recent enforcement blitzes, and the penalties for violating this law, check out our other blogs.
- Workplace Safety and Insurance Act. Coverage under this law is optional for some workplaces but most workplaces are required to register under this law and pay premiums. The law applies to employees, unpaid co-op students, certain other learners, and trainees participating in a work placement in Ontario.
- Occupational Health & Safety Act. Numerous obligations are imposed on employers under this law including mandatory training, and employers are required to prepare and post a number of written safety policies in the workplace. Employers must provide for the safety of employees and independent contractors. For information on recent amendments to this law, and penalties for violating this law, read our other blogs on this law.
- Ontario Human Rights Code. Employees and some self-employed individuals are entitled to protection under this law, which disallows discrimination on 16 prohibited grounds including gender, disability, religion and sexual orientation. For information on the cost of discriminating against pregnant and disabled persons, what can happen if an employer does not attend a scheduled hearing, and the quantum of damage awards issued by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, read our other blogs on this law.
- Ontario Pension Plan. The Ontario government has introduced legislation that will require most employers to contribute to a pension plan for its employees. This law is expected to take effect in 2017.
If you have any specific questions about any of these laws, please contact Doug MacLeod at [email protected] or 416-917-9894.
In the recent decision of Andros v Colliers Macaulay Nicolls Inc., the Ontario Court of Appeal (“OCA”) found yet another termination clause to be unenforceable. In this decision, the OCA reaffirmed and clarified various principles surrounding the enforceability of such clauses.
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