Ministry of Education Releases New “School Board Teacher Hiring Practices” PPM

On February 22, 2021, the Ontario Ministry of Education (Ministry) released the much anticipated Policy/Program Memorandum No. 165 (PPM 165) regarding “School Board Teacher Hiring Practices.” PPM 165 comes in response to the revocation of Ontario Regulation 274/12 “Hiring Practices” and will replace the Interim policy for school board hiring practices. The PPM is effective…

Public Input Regarding Exemptions From The Police Record Checks Reform Act, 2015 Requested

On February 10, 2021, the Ontario government published a consultation paper seeking stakeholder input regarding possible changes to the exemptions from the Police Record Checks Reform Act, 2015 (Act). Because the information disclosed as a result of police record checks is often used to assist in determining suitability for employment, employers may wish to offer their…

Ontario’s Regional Approach to Pandemic Management: Amendments to the Yellow, Orange, Red and Grey Zones

The Ontario government is continuing its recently announced return to a regional approach to pandemic management and to a modified provincial COVID-19: Response Framework. The first phase, discussed in greater detail in our February 10, 2021 FTR Now, involved the creation of a new Shutdown Zone as part of the Rules for Areas in Stage…

Debate Regarding Regulatory Obligations for Kindergarten Class Size Caps Now Resolved in Favour of School Boards

For 20 years, beginning in 1997, school boards and teachers’ federations agreed that class size limits pertaining to elementary school students needed to be met only by and on a “determination date” identified in the first half of the fall term. Following the negotiation of its 2017 Extension Agreement and an associated Letter of Commitment from the Crown, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) challenged this mutual understanding in two related arbitrations. Two arbitration awards and one judicial review later, the issue has now been definitively resolved – in favour of the school boards’ interpretation and the continuation of the historical compliance system.

Ontario Ends Declared Emergency and Resumes Regional Approach to Pandemic Management

On February 8, 2021, the Ontario government announced that the declared emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act would be terminated at the end of day, February 9, 2021. It also announced that it would be gradually resuming its regional approach to managing the pandemic that was previously in effect. While most regions of the province will remain in a shutdown, three public health regions have been moved to lesser restrictions.

Ontario Announces Additional Schools to Return to In-Person Learning

On February 3, 2021, the Ontario Minister of Education announced the dates for return to in-person learning for the remaining schools that have not yet opened for in-person learning. On Monday February 8, elementary and secondary schools located in the following public health units will return to in-person learning: Brant County Health Unit Chatham-Kent Public…

Religious Accommodation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression

Requests for accommodation based on an individual’s religious beliefs, gender identity and/or gender expression can present unique challenges. How you respond to these types of requests can mean the difference between a finding that suitable accommodations were offered and one that exposes your organization to significant liability. Join us for a webinar that addresses the legal obligations and best practices to keep in mind as it relates to religious accommodation, gender identity and gender expression.

Changes Proposed to Sexual Harassment and Violence Policies of Colleges, Universities and Private Career Colleges

On January 27, 2021, the Ontario government announced proposed changes to the sexual harassment and violence policies of colleges, universities and private career colleges. These policies are required by legislation. The government states the proposed changes are designed to increase campus safety and to encourage victims to report instances of sexual violence and harassment without…

Ontario Publishes Updated Tool for Screening Workers

The Ontario government has updated its COVID-19 tool for screening workers before they go to work each day. The “COVID-19 Screening Tool for Businesses and Organizations (Screening Workers),” issued by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, contains several changes of note to employers. These include: a reference to the regulatory screening requirement under O. Reg….