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Funding and oversight of Health and Safety Associations

The ministry has been working to modernize the Employment Standards program on all fronts including:

  • Improving its investigation processes to better serve those who need our help. A two-step process ensures claims are considered for early resolution and parties are given an opportunity to resolve the issue.
  • Increasing the availability of compliance tools, resources and interactive online calculators for both employers and employees.
  • Providing a multilingual toll-free information centre to inform employees and employers about their employment rights and responsibilities.
  • Delivering more education, outreach and partnership activities to better inform employees and employers across multiple languages about the ESA.
  • Making available videos on YouTube and on the Ministry website about complying with the ESA, what to expect during an inspection, and illegal deductions from wages.
  • Offering a series of interactive tools and calculators on its website.

Increasing Fairness for Employees and Businesses

In 2014-15, the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014 received Royal Assent and makes numerous amendments to labour legislation:

The Employment Standards Act, 2000:

  • Indexes minimum wage to inflation
  • Eliminates the $10,000 cap on orders to pay wages with respect to any unpaid wages that come due on or after February 20, 2015
  • Increases the time limits on recovery of wages from 6 months / 1 year to 2 years with respect to any unpaid wages that come due on or after February 20, 2015
  • Requires employers to provide all employees with a copy of the ESA poster
  • Gives ESOs authority to require an employer to conduct a self-audit
  • Imposes joint and several liability on temporary help agencies and their clients for unpaid regular wages, overtime pay, public holiday pay and premium pay for public holidays (comes into force on November 20, 2015)

The Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act (Live-in Caregivers and Others), 2009:

  • Expands coverage to all foreign nationals employed (or seeking employment) in Ontario under an immigration or foreign temporary employee program. (comes into force on November 20, 2015)