Ontario’s Bill 79, Working for Workers Act, 2023 Receives Royal Assent
Date: October 26, 2023
On October 26, 2023, Ontario’s Bill 79, Working for Workers Act, 2023 (Bill 79) received Royal Assent. Bill 79 amends several statutes including the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act, 2009 (EPFNA).
Changes introduced by Bill 79 include:
- changes to section 58 of the ESA making employees who work from home eligible for the same enhanced notice provided during a mass termination
- enhanced leave provisions for reservists, including leave time for when an employee is “in treatment, recovery or rehabilitation in respect of a physical or mental health illness, injury or medical emergency” that arose during their deployment or training activities
- strengthened protections for foreign nationals, including enhanced licensing requirements for recruiters
- increased fines under the OHSA from a maximum of $1.5 million to $2 million
- changes to the government’s regulation-making authority (first proposed in March 2023) that will allow the government to specify what written information must be provided to “employees and prospective employees” including information about rates of pay, work location and hours of work, thus laying the foundation for future regulations that would establish those requirements
These measures came into force on Royal Assent.
For further details on Bill 79, please see our FTR Now of March 21, 2023, Ontario to Amend the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and Other Legislation. If you have any questions about Bill 79 or how it might impact your workplace, please contact your regular Hicks Morley lawyer.
The article in this client update provides general information and should not be relied on as legal advice or opinion. This publication is copyrighted by Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP and may not be photocopied or reproduced in any form, in whole or in part, without the express permission of Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP. ©