The Ontario government recently introduced Bill 66, the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018. The omnibus bill proposes amendments to numerous statutes affecting a variety of industries, including labour and employment legislation. On December 6, 2018, Bill 66 passed First Reading. We anticipate that Bill 66 will not receive Second Reading until at least February 19, 2019 when the House sits again.
The most significant proposed changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) are: (i) the elimination of the requirement to obtain approval from the Ministry of Labour before entering into overtime averaging agreements or permitting employees to work more than 48 hours in a week; and (ii) the elimination of the requirement to post the employment standards poster in the workplace.
In addition, Bill 66 proposes to deem designated broader public sector employers, including municipalities, school boards, universities and colleges and hospitals to be “non-construction employers” for the purposes of the Labour Relations Act, 1995. This would mean that designated employers may be able to tender construction projects to non-union employers and/or avoid being bound by construction industry collective agreements.
We will continue to monitor the status of Bill 66. If you have any questions as to how Bill 66 may impact your workplace, please contact the firm.