Summary of Ontario Bill 88: Working for Workers Act

By - David
20.04.22 12:27 PM

On April 11, 2022, Ontario Bill 88 Working for Workers Act, 2022 was given Royal Assent. This Bill enacts the Digital Platform Workers’ Rights Act, 2022 and it amends the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The purpose of this Act is to establish certain worker rights for workers, regardless of whether those workers are employees. 


Particularly, Bill 88 introduces two notable changes:

    1. New Digital Platform Worker's Rights Act, 2022
    2. Under the Employment Standards Act (ESA) - provision requiring employers of 25 or more employees to implement a written policy           about electronic monitoring policy

About the New Digital Platform Worker's Rights Act, 2022

 

The new Digital Platform Workers Rights Act, 2022, creates rights for workers that accept work through a digital platform, regardless of whether or not they are an employee of the platform. Digital platform operators are required, within 24 hours of completion of a work assignment by the worker, to provide the following information in writing to the individual:

  • The actual amount the worker will be paid for the work, a description of how that amount was calculated, and when the amount will be paid.
  • The amount of any tips or other gratuities collected by the operator in respect of the work assignment, the amount of tip or other gratuity that will be paid to the worker, and when the amount will be paid.
  • Such other information as may be prescribed.

 

Furthermore, a digital platform operator is required to provide information to a worker about performance ratings the following way:

  • If a worker receives five or more performance ratings for work assignments on a calendar day, the operator shall provide to the worker the average performance rating for that day.
  • If a worker receives fewer than five performance ratings for work assignments on a given calendar day but a total of five or more such ratings over two or more days including that day, the operator shall provide to the worker the average of all the performance ratings received on those days.
  • The operator shall provide, if applicable, the aggregate details of the rating referred to on those work days.

 

Additional Workers Rights and Obligations


The following workers rights and obligations are also codified in the Digital Platform legislation:

    • Right to information
    • Right to minimum wage
    • Right to recurring pay period and pay day
    • Right to amounts earned and tips and other gratuities
    • Right to notice of removal
    • Rights re dispute resolution
    • Rights re reprisal

 


Written Policy on Electronic Monitoring

 

Employers that on January 1 (of any year) employ 25 or more employees will have to implement a written policy for all employees with respect to electronic monitoring of employees before March 1 of that year.

 

The written policy must contain the following information:

1.  Whether the employer electronically monitors employees. In that case, a description of how and in what circumstances the employer may electronically monitor employees will be requires, as well as the purposes for which information obtained through electronic monitoring may be used by the employer.

2.  The date the policy was prepared and the date any changes were made to the policy.

3.  Such other information as may be prescribed.

 


Other Important Takeaways of Ontario Bill 88: Working for Workers Act

 

Bill 88 is set to expand leave for Military Reservists. Section 50.2 of the Act, which governs reservist leaves of absence, is amended to provide that an employee is entitled to leave under that section if the employee is participating in Canadian Armed Forces military skills training. The section is also amended to provide that an employee is entitled to leave after being employed by the employer for three consecutive months.

 

Bill 88 also removes certain business consultants and information technology consultants from the scope of the ESA. Schedule 2 of this Bill provides that some of business consultants and information technology consultants from the employee entitlements of the ESA will be excluded from this Act, starting January 1, 2023.


For instance, in Bill 88 a “business consultant” is defined as is an individual who provides advice or services to a business or organization in respect of its performance, including advice or services in respect of the operations, profitability, management, structure, processes, finances, accounting, procurements, human resources, environmental impacts, marketing, risk management, compliance or strategy of the business or organization.


Likewise, in Ontario's Working for Worker Act an “information technology consultant” means an individual who provides advice or services to a business or organization in respect of its information technology systems, including advice about or services in respect of planning, designing, analyzing, documenting, configuring, developing, testing and installing the business or organization’s information technology systems.


Bill 88 will also reduce delays for certain individuals who apply for registration with certain regulated professions in Ontario. Schedule 3 of this Act amends the Fair Access to Regulated Professions and Compulsory Trades Act, 2006 to establish timelines within which regulated professions must respond to applications for registration from domestic labour mobility applicants unless an exemption is granted from the requirement.

 

Amends the OHSA


Schedule 4 of Ontario Bill 88 Working for Workers Act is also set to amend the following aspects of the Ontario Health and Safety Act:

    • Extends the limitation period for instituting a prosecution is from one year to two years.
    • Requires employers to provide a naloxone kit in workplaces where opioid overdoses are a potential hazard and comply with related requirements if the employer becomes aware, or ought reasonably to be aware, that there may be any risks of opioid overdose.
    • Increases the maximum fine from $100,000 to $1,500,000 for directors or officers of corporations and to $500,000 for other individuals

 

 

Final Remarks

 

  • The new ESA requirements came in force on April 11, 2022. Employers will have until October 11, 2022 (six months) to implement these new policies. The new ESA provisions excluding “business consultant” and “IT consultant” from the ESA come into effect on January 1, 2023.
  • The amendments to the OHSA relating to increased penalties for contraventions of the statute will come in force on July 1, 2022. The amendments relating to the provision of naloxone kits will came in force upon proclamation.
  • Bill 88 with further information can be found here.

                                                                                            

Blog provided by Media Logic, the producers of NRES Regulatory Monitoring, Canada's most inclusive EHS regulatory monitoring library and monitoring service.  To stay up to date with regulatory news from coast to coast, sign up for our free mailing list