Daniel Pugen, Shreya Patel, Torkin Manes LLP, Torkin Manes

The Ontario Government eliminates certain Ministry of Labour approvals

By Daniel Pugen and Shreya Patel

The Ontario Government has passed Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2019 which amends the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”).

The amendments eliminate the previous ESA requirement for employers to obtain Ministry of Labour approval to: (i) average hours of work over multiple weeks for overtime purposes; and (ii) schedule employees to work more than 48 hours per week.

With Bill 66 now law, employers need to only have written averaging agreements and written excess hours of work agreements with employees. The previous second step, (i.e. the MOL Approval), is now gone. Bill 66 removes what many employers considered an unnecessary bureaucratic step in devising schedules. It is certainly the case that, with these changes, employers will be able to implement averaging and excess hours of work arrangements quicker. All that is required is a written agreement with the employee.

Bill 66 also eliminates the requirement that employers are to post the ESA information poster in the workplace. The poster will still have to be provided to employees within 30 days of hire.

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