BorEHal February 2022 Edition: Bill 124 – Are You Compliant?

The Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019 (commonly known as “Bill 124”), in force since late November 2019, provides for restrictive measures applicable to compensation increases of employees employed by certain public sector employers and non-profit organizations that received more than $1 million in funding from the province in 2018.

For non-unionized employees subject to Bill 124, employers had until January 1, 2022 to begin the three (3) year moderation period during which they are required to implement the restrictive measures that prohibit compensation increases greater than 1%.Bill 124 is a complex law to navigate – for more information on your obligations as an employer, please contact our team of experienced lawyers.

WHAT’S NEW IN LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW

Health and Safety

The government has published new COVID-19 Integrated Testing & Case, Contact and Outbreak Management Interim Guidance: Omicron Surge, including an updated list of symptoms of COVID-19 that is now being used to determine if an individual needs to self-isolate. The duration of self-isolation has decreased to 5 or 10 days depending on age, vaccination, and health status. The document also includes specific guidance for highest risk settings. Learn more

In Watson, the Canada Industrial Relations Board unanimously dismissed a complaint that a bargaining unit member had filed against her union for refusing to advance a policy grievance against Air Canada’s mandatory vaccination policy. In dismissing the complaint, the Board noted that the union supported vaccination generally as an effective means of ensuring the health and safety of its members. Even if the position of the union was opposite to some of its members’ views, it was not sufficient in and of itself to find that union breached its duty of fair representation.

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Health and Community Services

On October 19, 2021, Ontario’s Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 (the “Act”) came into force. There is a three-year transition period, beginning October 19, 2021, for not-for-profit corporations to make required changes to their governing documents.

There are several new features in the Act. For example, a more efficient incorporation process, clearer rules for governing the corporation and increasing accountability, regulation of voting rights. Find out more about the new features of the Act.

Not-for-profit corporations should familiarize themselves with the new legislation and their obligations under it. They should also review and update their documents before the expiry of the three-year transition period. To do so, not-for-profit corporations may consult the guide prepared by the Government of Ontario.

Hospitality and Retail

Effective March 1, 2022, the provincial government has announced its intention to take additional steps to ease public health measures if public health and health system indicators continue to improve. This includes:

  • lifting capacity limits in all remaining indoor public settings; and
  • lifting proof of vaccination requirements for all settings.

However, businesses and other settings may choose to continue to require proof of vaccination at their discretion. Masking requirements will remain in place at this time, with a specific timeline to lift this measure to be communicated at a later date. Learn more

Natural Resources and Infrastructure

Our readers will recall our previous issue where we reported that Workplace Safety North has developed a program that will deliver training for the mining and forestry sectors and improve mental health for workers in the industry. The government has announced that this project will provide 24/7 support to workers and employers, including an online portal with mental health tools and free resources and awareness sessions for small businesses. Learn more

EVENTS

Consultation: Natural resources and forestry service modernization

Take this survey from the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry to help the Ministry understand your experience with natural resources and forestry approvals.

Survey closing date: March 31, 2022

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