Human Resources Legislative Update
Federal Accessibility Legislation Tabled
Date: July 24, 2018
On June 20, 2018, the federal government introduced Bill C-81, An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada (Bill), accessibility legislation which will apply to certain federally regulated employers.
In its preamble, the Bill states that barriers to accessibility can prevent full and equal participation in society by Canadians with disabilities. If passed and among other things, it will require certain organizations to identify, remove and prevent barriers in the following areas: employment, the built environment, information and communication technologies, the procurement of goods and services, the delivery of programs and services, transportation and other areas designated under regulations by the Bill.
Similar to the Ontario accessibility legislation, regulations made under the Bill will establish accessibility standards setting out how organizations will identify, remove and prevent barriers.
Among other things, the Bill would:
- impose duties on certain federally regulated employers that include preparing accessibility plans and progress reports in consultation with persons with disabilities, publishing those plans and reports and establishing a feedback process, a description of which must be published
- provide for a complaints process and award compensation to individuals who have suffered physical or psychological harm, property damage or economic loss, or who have otherwise been adversely affected as a result of a contravention of the legislation
- impose fines of up to $250,000 for a contravention of the legislation.
This Bill is currently at First Reading. We will continue to monitor its status and provide further updates.