News & Publications

Labour & Employment

Will They or Won’t They? Ontario’s new government and the WSIA

Written by on July 30, 2018.

Since the Ontario Liberal government amended the Workplace Safety Insurance Act (“WSIA”) in April, there has been some confusion about who bears the responsibility for workplace injuries to temporary agency workers: the agency, or its client employer. On April 6, 2018, the Liberals amended the WSIA to include the new section 83(4), which allows the Lieutenant Governor in Council to make regulations imposing the responsibilities and costs of an injury suffered by a temporary help agency wo...

Legalization of marijuana, set to take effect by October 17, 2018

Written by on June 20, 2018.

Canadian employers should be ready for the legalization of marijuana, set to take effect by October 17, 2018. The Senate voted to pass the Liberal government’s Bill C-45 on June 19, 2018 and today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the October 17, 2018 date, which allows the provinces and territories some time to implement distribution and sale laws. For more information on what impact that this has for your organization, you can read more at: Dazed and Confused: Marijuana in t...

Back to the Future – Public Holiday Changes Reversed

Written by on May 09, 2018.

As we wrote in January, recent changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) under Bill 148 included a new method for calculating Public Holiday Pay. However, after widespread criticism from employers, the Ontario government announced Monday that it would be conducting a review of the Public Holiday Pay system. Pending this review, as of July 1, 2018, the former system for calculating Public Holiday Pay will be reintroduced. The government has already passed the Regulation effect...

And there’s more! New employer obligations, that is.

Written by on May 02, 2018.

In its flurry of pre-election legislation, the Ontario government has now passed the Pay Transparency Act, 2018 into law. As of January 1, 2019, employers will have new obligations and restrictions when hiring new employees. All employers will be: prohibited from asking a job applicant about their previous compensation history required to include information about the expected range of compensation in job postings prohibited from intimidating, dismissing or other penalizing employ...

Closing the Wage Gap in Ontario?

Written by on March 12, 2018.

In yet another “time for a change” speech, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced last week that the government will take steps to close the wage gap between men and women. The gender-based wage gap has been stagnant for over a decade at about 30% - usually expressed as women earning 70 cents for every dollar earned by men. Bill 203 is titled the “Pay Transparency Act” and, if passed into law, many large employers will have to make further changes to some long-standing policies and...

She’s Having a Baby! What do the New Extended EI Parental Benefits Mean for Employers?

Written by on February 28, 2018.

In March 2017, the federal government announced its intention to extend employment insurance parental benefits to 18 months. This change took effect on December 3, 2017. While many Canadian employers are not thrilled with this change, it’s not all bad news. Same Total Maximum EI Benefits Parents currently receive up to 50 weeks of employment insurance benefits when they take time off work because of pregnancy, childbirth or adoption. The maternity benefit[1] is up to 15 weeks, whereas t...

Follow the Bouncing Ball: Enforcing Termination Provisions

Written by on February 07, 2018.

Employers need some good news these days, with rising minimum wages, employee-friendly changes to many employment standards, and let’s not even mention the stock market. So I’m happy to share the decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Nemeth v. Hatch Ltd. in which a very simple termination provision was upheld. Mr. Nemeth had been employed by Hatch Ltd. for just over 19 years when his employment was terminated without cause. The termination provision in his employment contract sai...

Labour & Employment Group Offers Special Rate to Assess Unionization Risk

Written by on January 29, 2018.

Recent changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 have created a greater risk for unionization in the workplace. Siskinds’ labour and employment group is providing their services at a special set fee to assist organizations in assessing the risk for unionization and how to prepare for handling it, should it occur. If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity, please contact Makenzie Carroll at 519.672.2251 x2377 or by email at makenzie.carroll@s...

Do Employers Have Human Rights Obligations to Former Employees?

Written by on January 29, 2018.

Two sisters from Inuvik Native Bands were employed by White Tornado Cleaning Services, owned by Rhonda Sallows. Their employment ended when they both quit, in response to allegedly being yelled at repeatedly by Ms. Sallows. Ms. Sallows subsequently told the sisters that she was decreasing their pay rate to minimum wage for their last day of work. Her bad judgment continued when she then withheld their last pay. When the sisters sent texts to Ms. Sallows, informing her that they would be fili...

New Changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 Will Affect Calculation of New Year’s Day Holiday Pay

Written by on January 02, 2018.

Happy New Year, everyone! Effective January 1, 2018, the method used for calculating public holiday pay has changed, meaning that the way employers are required to pay qualifying employees for New Year's Day will be different than the method used for calculating Christmas and Boxing Day pay. Prior to January 1, employers calculated public holiday pay by taking the employee's earnings over the previously worked four weeks and dividing that number by 20. Now, employers must base public holiday ...