Are you prepared for Significant Changes to Employment Standards in Ontario?

Significant amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) are expected in 2019. Bill 66, the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act is scheduled for debate this February. If passed, this bill could yield positive outcomes for both businesses and employees across Ontario. The primary objective for the proposed amendments is to allow for improved cost savings and flexibility for employers and to optimize workforce scheduling for workers.

The following are important changes employers and employees should be aware of:

Excess hours of work and overtime averaging

In order to improve shift flexibility for employers, under Bill 66, employers will no longer need to apply for Ministry of Labour approval for excess weekly hours of work and overtime averaging. The maximum time that an employer could average an employee’s hours of work for determining overtime pay following these changes would be 4 hours.

Workplace ESA Posters

Currently, employers are always required to display an ESA poster at the work site. The new amendment would eliminate this requirement. In place of a physical on-site poster, workers would have access to a digital copy of the poster at all times and at the time of hire.

Visit for the most up to date ESA posters and documentation required to be provided to Temporary Employees.

Amendment to Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)

WHMIS regulation would be amended to allow for updated labels to be placed on existing chemical containers. Currently any existing chemicals that require updated labels would need to be disposed of and replaced resulting in significant expenses for employers.


For continued updates on changes to the Employment Standards Act in 2019, stay current with IS2.

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