On Wednesday, December 4, 2013, Labour Minister Yasir Naqvi introduced Bill 146, Stronger Workforces for a Stronger Economy Act, which, if passed, would create significant amendments to various labour and employment statutes. The following potential amendments are of significance to employers.
Employment Standards Act, 2000
Bill 146, if passed, would:
Labour Relations Act, 1995
Bill 146, if passed, would make it more difficult for third party unions or employees in the construction industry to displace or terminate bargaining rights of the incumbent bargaining agent by reducing the “open period” in the construction industry from 3 months to 2 months. This change would result in an inconsistency, as the “open period” in the industrial sector would remain at 3 months.
Workplace Safety and Insurance Act
Bill 146, if passed, would attribute experience rating costs on the client of Temporary Help Agency employees by:
These changes would potentially increase the WSIB costs for the employers who utilize Temporary Help Agency employees should there be an accident at the workplace. Conversely, these changes could potentially have a negative effect on the Temporary Agency’s marketability.
Occupational Health and Safety Act
Bill 146, if passed, would amend the definition of “worker” in order to extend health and safety coverage to unpaid co-op students and other unpaid trainees and learners, including persons who perform work or supply services to an employer for no monetary compensation.
Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act
Bill 146, if passed, would amend the Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act to apply to all temporary foreign workers in Ontario and grant temporary foreign workers protection against being charged recruitment fees or having personal documents, such as passports, withheld by employers.
We believe that Bill 146 contains many significant changes that will affect many employers. If you have any questions about these proposed changes, or any other questions relating to workplace law, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer or CompClaim consultant.
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