On July 27, 2016, the Changing Workplaces Review: Special Advisors’ Interim Report (the “Report”) was released. As you may recall, in May 2015, the Government of Ontario announced that it would undertake a public consultation regarding the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (the “LRA”) and the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”). The consultations began in June 2015. Two Special Advisors – C. Michael Mitchell, and the Honourable John C. Murray, have been tasked with the review of this legislation. In the Report, the Special Advisors have set out the issues that were identified in their initial consultations, as well as the suggestions that are available to remedy those issues. In their final report, the Special Advisors will be making recommendations to the Ministry of Labour with respect to proposed amendments to the LRA and the ESA.

The Interim Report seeks further input from stakeholders as to which options should be selected before the final report is released. Employers should be aware of two important deadlines:

  • By August 31, 2016, submissions must be made with respect to the personal emergency leave options contained in the Report.
  • By October 14, 2016, submissions must be made with respect to the other options in the Report.

There are numerous issues identified in the Report that would significantly modify the LRA and the ESA. We have highlighted below some of the most important issues for employers. A full copy of the Report is available here. The Report notes in several areas that employers did not make submissions in respect of potential issues. If you believe that any of the following issues would have an impact on your workplace, we strongly recommend that submissions be made to the Special Advisors prior to the above-noted deadlines and before formal recommendations are made to the Ministry of Labour.

OVERVIEW OF CHANGES TO THE LRA

Click here to view table.

OVERVIEW OF CHANGES TO THE ESA

Click here to view table.

In addition to the changes highlighted above, the Report also highlights issues with respect to numerous other matters including: related and joint employers; remedial certification; first contract arbitration; successor rights; consolidation of bargaining units; replacement workers; interim orders; and broader based bargaining units.

Many of the above options could entail significant additional costs for employers if they are made as formal recommendations to the Ministry of Labour and are accepted.In addition to the changes highlighted above, the Report also highlights issues with respect to numerous other matters including: scheduling; public holidays; other leaves of absence; temporary help agencies; and how to determine whether an employer has provided a greater right or benefit.