All organizations with 50 or more employees in Ontario will be required to comply with the accessible employment standards made under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 starting on January 1, 2016.
This bulletin provides a brief summary of the new obligations.
- ?Employers must notify their employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for job applicants with disabilities in the recruitment process. Further, during the recruitment process, employers must notify job applicants when they are individually selected in the assessment or selection process that accommodations are available upon request. If an applicant requests accommodation, an employer must consult with the applicant and arrange for a suitable accommodation that takes into account the applicant’s accessibility needs. When making an offer of employment, an employer must notify the successful applicant of its policies for accommodating employees with disabilities.
- Employers must inform employees about their policies relating to the support of employees with disabilities, including policies on job accommodations that take into account an employee’s accessibility needs due to disability. This information must be provided to employees as soon as practicable after they begin their employment and updated information must be provided whenever there is a change to existing policies on the provision of accommodation.
- Employers must have a written process in place for the development of documented individual accommodation plans for employees with disabilities. The written process must include a number of detailed prescribed elements. Employers must also develop and use individual accommodation plans that, among other things, identify any information regarding accessible formats and communication supports provided and any other accommodations.
- Employers must develop and have in place return to work processes for employees who have been absent from work due to a disability and require disability-related accommodation in order to return to work. Such processes must be documented and must outline the steps the employer will take to facilitate the return to work and include the preparation of individual accommodation plan.
- Employers who provide performance management, career development, advancement and/or redeployment to their employees must do so in a manner that takes into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities as well as individual accommodation plans.
- Upon request by an employee with a disability, and following consultation with the employee making the request, employers must provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for information that is needed in order for the employee to perform his or her job and for information that is generally available to employees in the workplace.