The Ontario government has been pretty busy lately, working on quite a few new laws and regulations that will affect employers across the province.
There are six new laws coming into effect in 2022 that are directly related to employment, and as an employer, here is what you need to know about them.
New Laws and Regulations
Increases in Minimum Wage
Everyone loves getting a raise, right? On January 1, 2022, minimum wage in Ontario was increased to $15.00/hour. This new regulation comes at a time when so many workers across the province are feeling the crunch of trying to keep up with the constantly increasing costs of living but also at a time when many small businesses are struggling to recover from the devastating economic effects of the pandemic.
The Right to Disconnect
Do you have a habit of calling or sending emails to your employees after hours? Well, you might want to think twice about those calls in the coming year. A new law coming into effect in 2022, makes it a requirement for most companies with 25 employees or more to have a written policy in place concerning their employee’s right to disconnect from work. Employers have until June 2, 2022, to complete their Right to Connect from Work Policy.
Extended Pandemic Layoffs
Workers who have been laid off due to COVID will continue to be eligible for federal emergency income support programs, even though employment insurance is only supposed to last for a maximum of 45 weeks. This means that employers also have an extension until July 30, 2022 to make their decision about whether they will bring these employees back or pay them severance.
No More Non-Compete Agreements
In an effort to help workers across Ontario grow their careers and advance their skills to earn a better income, other than the exceptions below, the government is banning businesses from enforcing non-compete agreements in their contracts which restrict direct competition with the business/industry they are in. Effective October 25, 2021, employers are also prohibited from binding an employee to any form of non-competition agreement. The two exceptions are:
- If there is a sale of a business or a part of a business and, as a part of the sale, the purchaser and seller enter into an agreement that prohibits the seller from engaging in any business, work, occupation, profession, project or other activity that is in competition with the purchaser’s business after the sale and, immediately following the sale, the seller becomes an employee of the purchaser; and
- If the employee is an executive, which is defined as any person who holds the office of Chief Executive Officer, President, Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Operating officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer, Chief Legal Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer or Chief Corporate Development Officer, or any other Chief Executive position.
Delivery Workers Using the Washroom on the Job
Another big change is that as of March 1, 2022, workers who deliver supplies or drive a truck have a right to use the washroom at the companies they do business with while they are on the job. This doesn’t give them the right to use washrooms at private residences – just the companies they deliver to.
Removal of Canadian Experience Requirement
Effective December 2, 2021, internationally trained workers will be able to use the experience they’ve gained abroad to put towards jobs in Canada, and Canadian employers can no longer only require experience with Canadian based companies. This law is to help remove any barriers that international workers may be facing when trying to find work in Ontario.
Contact Minken Employment Lawyers today
If you are an employer in Ontario, it is likely that you will be directly affected by one or more of these changes in legislation in 2022. If you have questions about these new laws and regulations or would like to learn more about your rights and responsibilities as an employer, we can help. Contact Minken Employment Lawyers today to speak with one of our experienced lawyers or call us at 905-477-7011 for assistance prior to taking any steps that may expose you to legal liability.
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Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
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