The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) requires that employers in Ontario display a poster published by the Ministry of Labour. The poster provides information about employee rights and obligations under the ESA and its regulations, and is periodically updated.
Recently, the Ministry published a new eighth version of the poster, which is available for employers to download from the Ministry's website.
Employers have the following obligations when the Ministry updates its poster:
- It must be posted in at least one conspicuous place where it is likely to come to the attention of employees in that workplace;
- Employers need to provide a copy of the most recent poster to each of their employees (which can be done electronically);
- Any new employees must be provided with a copy of the poster within 30 days of their start date;
- If the majority of the employees in a workplace speak a language other than English, the employer must determine if the Ministry has translated the poster in that language and, if so, post it next to the English version;
- If an employee requests a copy of the poster in a language other than English, the Employer must determine if the Ministry has translated the poster in that language and, if so, provide it to the employee.
It is not surprising that the Ministry has decided to update its poster, given the numerous and recent changes to labour and employment legislation in the province. As well, Bill 66 (which was recently carried in first reading) includes an amendment to the ESA that, if passed, would impact the obligations of employers regarding these posters. If adopted into law, there will no longer be a requirement on employers to display the posters in the workplace; however, they will still be required to distribute the poster to employees. In the meantime, employers should update their ESA posters as outlined above.