Ontario’s Labour and Employment Laws are Changing. 
How Will it Impact You?

The Ontario Ministry of Labour is currently undertaking a review of the Labour Relations Act and the Employment Standards Act.

In July 2016, the Government of Ontario released an Interim Report called the Changing Workplaces Review.  This Interim Review will be examining key workplace trends, including part-time work and self-employment.  The Report contains hundreds of options to the Legislation that guides Ontario’s workplaces. The Special Advisors conducting the Review are seeking submissions on the options presented in the Interim Report.

The chamber is urging employers to make a submission into the review process. The deadline for submissions is Friday, October 14th.  Details on how to make a submission can be found below.

Why are we concerned?

The options presented in the Interim Report will impact nearly every aspect of the relationship between employers and employees, as well as the ability of businesses in Greater Sudbury to create jobs and grow the economy.

There are several elements to the interim report that could jeopardise Ontario’s economic competitiveness:

  • Scheduling Provisions:  The interim report includes options that would create rigid and universal requirements related to employers’ posting of employee work schedules. A one-size-fits-all approach to scheduling fails to recognise the diverse needs of Ontario’s workforce, and will remove the flexibility that many part-time employees enjoy.
  • Labour Certification Rules: The interim report includes options that would allow workers to unionise simply by signing a union card. The need for a secret ballot vote would be removed, marking a substantial change from the existing process. We believe this is a diminishing of employees’ rights and would prevent workers from having a real say about whether or not they wish to be part of a union.
  • Sector Exemptions: The interim report includes options that would allow for the abolishment of all sectoral exemptions. Doing so ignores the unique needs of important industries like agriculture and information technology when it comes to flexible scheduling and compensation.
  • Determination of Common Employers: The interim report includes options that would allow for changing the current legal standard for determination of common employers. This represents a fundamental disruption to the current relationship between employees and employers.  Franchisers and franchisees are particularly vulnerable to this risk.

The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce acknowledges that work is changing and that employees need to be protected.  However, in an effort to solve one problem, we don’t want to impose more issues. One-size-fits-all solutions, like many outlined in the interim report, could remove the flexibility that many of Ontario’s employers and employees enjoy.

What are we doing – Keep Ontario Working Initiative

The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce alongside the Ontario Chamber of Commerce are calling on the Government of Ontario to reject several proposals under consideration in the Interim Report.

The Ontario Chamber network ins partnering with leading employer and sector associations in the province on an initiative called Keep Ontario Working to encourage employers and employees alike to take a more active interest in the Changing Workplaces Review.

The Keep Ontario Working initiative is comprised of:

  • Ontario’s Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade Network
  • Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services,
  • Canadian Franchise Association
  • Food & Beverage Ontario
  • National Association of Canadian Consulting Businesses
  • Ontario Forest Industries Association
  • Ontario Restaurant, Hotel & Motel Association
  • Restaurants Canada
  • Retail Council of Canada
  • Tourism Industry Association of Ontario

For more information on the Keep Ontario Working initiative, visit www.KeepOntarioWorking.ca. This website contains more information about our recommendations and template letters you can send to the Government of Ontario.

Provide your Input

You can find the interim report to the Changing Workplaces Review here.

We encourage businesses in Greater Sudbury to make their voices heard and to provide impact into these proposed changes.

To make a submission:

  • E-mail: [email protected]
  • Mail:
    Changing Workplaces Review
    ELCPB 400 University Ave., 12th Floor
    Toronto, Ontario M7A 1T7
  • Fax: 416-326-7650

More information on how to provide input to the Government of Ontario can be found here https://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/about/workplace/.

Share your comments or concerns with us at [email protected].