The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is constantly changing. So when there has been yet another change to AODA it takes all of my energy not to cover my ears and yell “LAH, LAH, LAH” at the top of my lungs.
Employment Standards Regulation: January 1, 2017
The most important amendment to AODA that applies to employers with one to 49 employees takes effect on January 1, 2017. For a description of our compliance service in connection with the Employment Standards Regulation, click here.
Ontario Regulation 165/16: July 1, 2016
Before the Employment Standards takes effect, however, another regulation – O. Reg. 165/16 – will take effect on or about July 1, 2016. It will consolidate all of the accessibility standards in the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation. Thereafter both small (one to 49 employees) and large (over 50 employees) organizations will be required to do the following:
Changes to AODA requirements
1. Training – currently, organizations are only required to provide customer service training to employees and volunteers who deal with third parties, and those who participate in developing the organization’s policies. However, the new regulation will require organizations to, as soon as practicable, train: (a) allemployees and volunteers; (b) every person who participates in developing the organization’s policies; and (c) every other person who provides goods, services or facilities on behalf of the organization.
2. Documenting policies, practices and procedures – currently, organizations with 20 or more employees must “document” their customer service policies, practices and procedures, and make a copy of that document available on request. However, when this regulation takes effect, this requirement will only apply to organizations with 50 or more employees. In other words, organizations with 20 to 49 employees are no longer required to document their customer service policies, practices and procedures.
Besides documenting their customer service policies, practices and procedures, large organizations must also (a) notify persons to whom it provides goods, services or facilities that the document which describes the organization’s policies, practices and procedures is available upon request; and (b) prepare a document that describes the organization’s training policy, summarizes the content of the training and specifies when the training is to be provided. Both documents must be provided to any person upon request.
All organizations with 20 or more employees must confirm their compliance with the above requirements by submitting an accessibility compliance report by no later than December 31, 2017.
Lesson to be learned
We recommend that you review and update all of your organization’s AODA policies, practices and procedures to ensure you are in compliance with the upcoming changes.