On December 4, 2013, the Ontario government introduced Bill 146, the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2013. Bill 146 seeks to amend several key employment related statutes with a view to protecting workers historically considered ‘vulnerable’. At the time of writing (December 31, 2013), Bill 146 is not yet law, but is making its way through the legislative process. If passed, some of the Bill’s amendments could significantly change how employers conduct business in Ontario. This article summarizes the key proposed amendments.
A. Employment Standards Act
1.Temporary Help Agencies and Their Workers
Many Ontario businesses use temporary workers to address seasonal and business fluctuations. Currently, as a result of 2009 amendments to the ESA, it is the temporary staffing agency (“temp agency”) that has direct responsibility for payment of a temporary worker’s wages and other statutory entitlements.