Ontario Government Introduces Working for Workers Four Act

HEL Blog post
Published On: December 4, 2023Categories: Employer Alerts, Ontario

As part of its periodic updates to employment legislation, the Ontario Government has introduced Bill 149 Working for Workers Four Act, 2023, the fourth installment in the “Working for Workers” series. Following the lead of B.C. it will impose new rules for employee recruitment and job postings amongst other changes.

The Bill proposes the following changes to recruitment and job postings for Ontario employers:

  • Employers will need to include information about applicable compensation rates or range for publicly posted jobs.
  • Employers will be prohibited from requiring Canadian work experience: this is a first in Canada and aligns with the government’s goal of facilitating immigrants’ access to better paid jobs that recognize their experience outside Canada in their chosen occupations (to avoid the trained engineer driving taxi phenomena). We predict the underlying objective of mandating employer recognition of experience abroad will prove unpractical in many situations given that similar jobs are performed very differently between countries, with language and intercultural barriers layered on top of that. That goal will likely be undermined by employers still giving weight to Canadian experience even if it cannot be a stated minimum qualification for a job.
  • Employers must disclose any use of AI if used for screening, assessing or selecting job applicants.
  • Employer must retain copies of publically advertised job postings and associated application forms for three years.

Other changes include:

To the Employment Standards Act 2000:

  • Specific timelines and recurring pay days for digital workers.
  • A ban on unpaid work during “trial periods” for job applicants.
  • A more explicit ban on deductions from employee wages due to theft (including, for example, as a result of customers dining and dashing from restaurants).
  • Requiring a written policy about any tip/gratuity sharing.

To the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997

  • WSIB may increase benefits above the annual rate of inflation to increase pay for injured workers in some circumstances.
  • Certain cancers will be presumed occupational diseases for firefighters and fire investigators.

This Employer Alert is meant to be just a preview of the Bill, which is still before the Legislature. We will publish a more detailed and substantial Employer Alert once the Bill has passed and received Royal Assent.

If you have any questions or would like any assistance regarding on the Bill in the meantime, you can contact us at:

Geoffrey Howard:       ghoward@howardlaw.ca

604 424-9686

Sebastian Chern:         schern@howardlaw.ca

604 424-9688