New Staffing Regulations in Long-Term Care: A Step Forward or a Stumbling Block?

Written by on April 9, 2024 in Employment Law Blog, Employment Law Issues
Long-Term Care


In a significant move, Ontario has recently updated its regulations concerning the qualifications of staff in the long-term care sector, particularly personal support workers (PSWs).

This decision, embedded in Ontario Regulation 246/22 under the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2001, and the subsequent Ontario Regulation 314/23, raises important questions about the future of long-term care in the province.

Understanding the Changes

Initially, Ontario Regulation 246/22 established that all individuals employed as PSWs or in similar roles must have completed an accredited PSW program or meet specific qualification requirements. However, the more recent Ontario Regulation 314/23, effective from October 11, 2023, introduces notable amendments:

  1. Delayed Compliance: Long-term care home licensees are granted a grace period until July 1, 2024, to meet the qualification requirements, provided they believe their staff possesses the necessary skills and knowledge.
  2. Employment Cessation: By August 1, 2024, any staff member who fails to meet the qualifications must be let go.
  3. Record-Keeping: Homes must maintain and regularly report records of all personnel who need to meet the stipulated qualifications.
  4. Revocation of Transitional Provisions: The new regulations also revoke earlier transitional staffing qualifications as of November 11, 2023.

While these changes are undoubtedly aimed at enhancing the quality of care in long-term facilities, they pose both challenges and opportunities.


  1. Higher Standards: By enforcing stricter qualifications, the regulation aims to improve the standard of care, ensuring that residents receive services from adequately trained professionals.
  2. Professional Recognition: This move could elevate the status of PSWs, acknowledging their vital role in healthcare.


  1. Staffing Challenges: The long-term care sector already faces staffing shortages. These new regulations might exacerbate this issue, at least in the short term.
  2. Training and Compliance Costs: Facilities might incur additional costs in training existing staff or hiring qualified professionals.
  3. Time Constraints: The grace period, though seemingly adequate, might be challenging for some facilities to meet, especially those already struggling with staffing.

Looking Ahead

The success of these regulatory changes will largely depend on how effectively they are implemented and whether the long-term care sector receives adequate support during this transition. While the intention behind these amendments is commendable, balancing the need for qualified staff with the practical realities of staffing shortages remains a critical issue.

As we move forward, it’s essential to closely monitor these changes’ impact. Will they lead to a substantial improvement in the quality of care, or will they add another layer of complexity to an already strained sector? Only time will tell.

If you’re seeking to navigate the new regulations in the long-term care sector for personal support workers, Minken Employment Lawyers can help you with the latest legislative changes. Our team is poised to provide strategic advice and practical solutions tailored to your organization’s needs. Contact us today at 905-477-7011 or email us at contact@minken.com to ensure that your organization is not only compliant but also positioned at the forefront of your industry.

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Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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