Human Resources Legislative Update
Ontario Passes Workplace Law Reforms
Date: December 10, 2015
On December 10, 2015, the Ontario government passed Bill 109, the Employment and Labour Statute Law Amendment Act, 2015 and Bill 144, the Budget Measures Act, 2015, two pieces of legislation that implement a number of reforms to various workplace laws.
Among other things, Bill 109 amends:
- the labour relations provisions of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997 (“FPPA”) to incorporate a wide range of provisions from theLabour Relations Act, 1995 regarding such matters as unfair labour practices, membership in associations, and expedited rights arbitration, with modifications to take into account the unique nature of firefighter labour relations, and to address membership in firefighter associations;
- the Public Sector Labour Relations Transition Act, 1997 (“PSLRTA”) to add a new exception to the requirement to hold a representation vote in the context of a restructuring; and
- the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (“WSIA”) to provide protection to employees who have filed, or intend to file, a claim for benefits by prohibiting employers from prohibiting or discouraging workers from filing claims, and influencing or inducing workers to withdraw or abandon claims, among other matters.
The FPPA and WSIA changes will come into effect on Royal Assent. The PSLRTA changes will come into effect six months after Royal Assent is received. Typically, a Bill will receive Royal Assent shortly after it passes in the Legislature, and we will monitor and communicate the specific date when it is known.
A detailed discussion of the changes implemented by Bill 109 is available in our FTR Now of May 29, 2015 “Ontario Government to Amend Workplace Laws.”
As we previously reported, Bill 144 is omnibus legislation that, in part, implements reforms to construction labour relations, workplace safety and insurance indexing and to certain rules governing multi-employer pension asset transfers.