Written By Carl Cunningham
On December 6, 2018, the Ontario Government introduced Bill 66, titled Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018 (Bill 66). Bill 66 would amend several provincial statutes, including the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). The changes to be effected by Bill 66 are intended to make it easier for businesses to operate in Ontario and are in addition to the changes in Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018 (Bill 47), which we reviewed in our recent blog post.
Proposed Changes to the ESA Under Bill 66
The following are highlights of the proposed changes to the ESA to be effected by Bill 66:
1. ESA Poster: Elimination of the duty of employers to post a copy of the ESA poster in the workplace, but employers would still have a duty to provide a copy to each employee.
2. Approval for Excess Hours of Work: Elimination of the obligation of employers to obtain approval of Director of Employment Standards for employees to work more than 48 hours per week.
3. Approval for Averaging Hours of Work for Overtime: Elimination of the obligation of employers to obtain approval of Director of Employment Standards to average hours of work for the purpose of determining an employee’s entitlement, if any, to overtime pay.
Bill 66 passed first reading in the legislature, but is not yet law. However, given how quickly the government passed Bill 47, it is reasonable to expect that Bill 66 will also proceed quickly through the legislature. We will update you further as Bill 66 progresses.