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You may have seen this headline last week, and wondered how it will affect your organization. The answer is likely either “not at all” or “not much”.

Prior to the passage of Bill 66, the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2019, approval from the Director of Employment Standards was required if employers needed employees to work more than 48 hours a week. Approval was also required if employers wanted to average hours worked over two or more consecutive weeks in order to reduce the cost of overtime.

Now that Bill 66 has received Royal Assent, those approvals are no longer required. However, note that employees still have to agree, in writing, to work excess hours, or to have their working hours averaged over up to four weeks for the purpose of calculating overtime entitlements.

In our experience, the Director typically approved requests for excess hours and/or overtime averaging, so in our view, the removal of this bureaucratic requirement is unlikely to significantly change our clients’ workplaces. That said, we do expect this removal will result in more employers taking advantage of overtime averaging.

Bill 66 has also done away with the requirement for employers to post the ESA poster in the workplace. Employers will, however, still need to provide a copy of the poster to each employee individually.

If you have any questions about Bill 66 changes or would like assistance in implementing excess hours or overtime averaging agreements in your workplace, please contact any member of Siskinds’ Labour & Employment Group.

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