Earlier this month, the Ontario Ministry of Labour released version 8.0 of the Employment Standards Poster. This release coincides with recent changes to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) under Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018, which we summarized in a previous blog post.
The ESA poster highlights certain rights and obligations of employees and employers in Ontario under the ESA, including minimum wage rates, hours of work and statutory leaves.
What You Need to Do Now
Provincially-regulated employers with operations in Ontario need to:
- Recognize that version 7.0 of the poster is now out of date. Employers must immediately post a copy of version 8.0 in English, in at least one conspicuous place in the workplace like a communal kitchen. If the majority language of the workplace is not English and the Ministry has published version 8.0 in that majority language, the employer must also post a copy of the applicable translation next to the English version. Version 8.0 is currently available in these translations: French, Arabic, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Hindi, Portuguese, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Urdu and Vietnamese;
- distribute a hard copy or electronic copy of version 8.0 to each current employee in Ontario; and
- ensure that new hires in Ontario receive a copy of the poster within 30 days after hire. One strategy to guarantee compliance with this requirement is to enclose a copy of the poster with offer letters or orientation packages.
A copy of the ESA poster is available, free of charge, on the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s website.
As mentioned in our recent blog post, the Ontario government introduced Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018 in December, which has proposed additional changes to the ESA. Bill 66 has passed first reading, but is not yet law. As previously discussed, given how quickly the government passed Bill 47, it is reasonable to expect that Bill 66 will also move quickly through the legislature to become law.
If Bill 66 does become law, one change that will come into effect is that provincially-regulated employers with operations in Ontario will no longer need to post the ESA poster in the workplace, but will still need to give a copy of it to each current employee and to each new hire within 30 days after hire.