Ontario Proposes Significant Changes to ESA and Other Employment-Related Legislation

On October 25, 2021, the Ontario government tabled Bill 27, Working for Workers Act, 2021, omnibus legislation which, if passed, would make significant amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). These include requiring employers with 25 or more employees to have a policy on disconnecting from work, prohibiting employers and employees from entering into…


Federal Government Phasing Out COVID-19 Support Measures

On October 21, 2021, the federal government announced that two key pandemic programs, the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), would not be extended past October 23, 2021. It has proposed extending the Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP)—with narrowed criteria—to May 7, 2022. It also plans to introduce two new programs—The Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program and the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program—that would provide rent and wage subsidies, as well as lockdown support for a targeted set of businesses and organizations, until May 7, 2022, with the possibility of extension until July 2, 2022. The details of the two programs are set out in the Backgrounder, “Targeting COVID-19 Support Measures.”

Case In Point

Appellate Court Finds Former Employee was Provided Notice of Agreement Terms; No Entitlement to Unvested Stock Options

In Battiston v. Microsoft Canada Inc., the Ontario Court of Appeal held that an employee who provided online acknowledgements that he had read the employer’s stock option agreement was bound by the provisions of that agreement (including the termination provisions), whether he had read them or not. Background Facts Mr. Battiston had been employed by…

Human Resources Legislative Update

Updated Guidance on ROE Codes to be Used for Non-Compliance with Workplace Vaccination Policies

On October 15, 2021, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) updated its website page EI information for employers – COVID-19 with respect to Block 16 – Reasons for issuing this ROE (record of employment). Block 16 is used to indicate the reason for the employee’s leave or separation from employment, or why the ROE is…

Case In Point

Appellate Court Upholds Cause Termination for Sexual Harassment

The Ontario Court of Appeal has found that an employer had cause to terminate the employment of a senior employee who had sexually harassed a co-worker and refused to take the remedial steps required by the employer. It reversed a lower court decision which found that the employee had been wrongfully dismissed and awarded 20…

Case In Point

Manitoba Court of Appeal Upholds Public Sector Wage Restraint Legislation

In Manitoba Federation of Labour et al v The Government of Manitoba, the Manitoba Court of Appeal upheld the province’s public sector wage restraint legislation that had previously been ruled unconstitutional. The Court based its decision on the fact that the impugned legislation was broad-based and time-limited, and that it preserved a process of consultation…


Proposals to Ease Regulatory Burdens for Administrators of Defined Contribution Pension Plans

On October 7, 2021, the Ontario government released draft amendments to Ontario Regulation 909 under the Pensions Benefits Act, which will eliminate certain prescribed requirements for administrators of Defined Contribution (DC) pension plans. In this FTR Now, we highlight the key details of these proposed changes that will be of significant interest to administrators of…

Human Resources Legislative Update

Ontario Introduces Enhanced COVID-19 Vaccine Certificate and Verify Ontario App

On October 15, 2021, the Ontario government announced that the enhanced COVID-19 vaccine certificate with the official QR (Quick Response) code, as well as the verification app, Verify Ontario, are available for download. These tools are intended to make the process of providing proof of vaccination in order to access certain public settings more secure…

HR HealthCheck

Ministry Issues Directive for Vaccination Requirements in Long-Term Care Homes

On October 1, 2021, the Minister of Long-Term Care issued an updated Long-term care home COVID-19 immunization policy directive (Directive). The Directive sets out COVID-19 vaccination requirements for staff, support workers, student placements and volunteers (Covered Individuals) working in long-term care homes and applies regardless of the frequency or duration of their attendance at the…