Digital Platform Workers' Rights Act
Electronic monitoring policies
Other features of Bill 88
IT and business consultants under ESA


On 28 February 2022, the Ontario government proposed Bill 88, the Working for Workers Act 2022. Among other things, Bill 88 introduces a variety of new workplace requirements and amendments, including the Digital Platform Workers Rights Act 2022 and the requirements of a written policy on electronic monitoring.

Digital Platform Workers' Rights Act

Bill 88 introduces the Digital Platform Workers' Rights Act (the Act). If passed, the Act would provide digital platform workers with:

  • minimum wage protection for time worked;
  • the right to information, including how pay is calculated;
  • whether tips and gratuities use a performance rating system; and
  • whether there are any consequences based on the worker's performance rating or a worker's failure to perform a work assignment.

The Act would also require an operator to establish a recurring pay period and pay day, and it would prevent an operator from removing a worker's access to the digital platform without a written explanation or two weeks' written notice where access is removed for 24 hours or longer. Under the Act, "digital platform work" means the provision of for-payment ridesharing, delivery, courier or other prescribed services by workers who are offered work assignments by an operator via a digital platform. The Act protects workers from reprisals for seeking protections under the Act and establishes that work-related disputes must be resolved in Ontario.

Electronic monitoring policies

Under Bill 88, any employer with 25 or more employees will be required to have a written policy on how technology, such as computers and mobile phones, are being tracked. The written policy, a copy of which must be provided to employees, will be required to state whether the employer electronically monitors its workers, a description of how this is done, as well as the purpose of this monitoring. Employers will be required to develop the electronic monitoring policy within six months of this legislation passing. The requirements set out in the legislation would apply to employees working at the workplace, in the field or at home.

Other features of Bill 88

Regulated professions
Bill 88 proposes to amend the Fair Access to Regulated Professions and Compulsory Trades Act 2006 to establish timelines within which regulated professions must respond to registration applications from domestic applicants who are registered in the same profession in another Canadian province or territory. If passed, the amendment will require regulated professions to decide and respond to an applicant within 30 business days of receiving a registration application and all of the necessary supporting documentation.

OHSA
Naxolone kits
Bill 88 proposes to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) by requiring employers who become aware, or ought reasonably to be aware, that there may be a risk of a worker having an opioid overdose at the workplace, to provide and maintain a naloxone kit in the workplace. These amendments will also require the employer to provide training on the maintenance and administration of naloxone.

Fines for convictions
Bill 88 also proposes to increase the applicable fines for convictions under the OHSA. For directors or officers of corporations, the maximum fine that may be imposed is proposed to be increased from C$100,000 to C$1,500,000. Maximum fines for other individuals are proposed to be increased to C$500,000. Bill 88 also proposes to add a list of aggravating factors to be considered for the purposes of determining a penalty. These aggravating factors include that the offence resulted in the death, serious injury or illness of one or more workers, the defendant committed the offence recklessly or disregarded an order of an inspector.

Limitation period
Bill 88 proposes to extend the limitation period in which a prosecution must be instituted from one year to two years.

IT and business consultants under ESA

The legislative changes that Ontario is introducing will clarify the treatment of many IT and business consultants under the Employment Standards Act 2000 (ESA). The changes will provide businesses clarity on their obligations under the ESA when working with IT and business consultants, while also providing these workers with further work opportunities.

Bill 88 has been ordered for a third reading and is currently being debated.

For further information on this topic please contact Lisa Cabel or Richelle Pollard at KPMG Law by telephone (+1 416 777 8000‚Äč) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]). The KPMG Law website can be accessed at www.kpmg.com.