In February 2015 the Ontario Ministry of Labour appointed C. Michael Mitchell, formerly of Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP, and the Honourable John C. Murray, a former Ontario Superior Court Justice, as Special Advisors to conduct the Changing Workplaces Review (the “Review”), in which they will assess broad issues affecting Ontario workplaces and provide the Ministry of Labour with a written report of their findings and recommendations. The review intends to “consider how the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (“LRA”) and Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) could be amended to best protect workers while supporting businesses in our changing economy.”
The Ministry of Labour intends to use the report and recommendations to update the LRA and ESA to better reflect the current workplace and business climates. Trends that the Review will examine will include, but not be limited to:
the increase in non-standard working relationships such as temporary jobs, involuntary part-time work, and self-employment;
- the rising prominence of the service sector;
- globalization and trade liberalization;
- accelerating technological change; and
- greater workplace diversity.
Elements of employment law that the Review will not be assessing include the following:
- The construction industry provisions of the Labour Relations Act, 1995;
- the minimum wage (which was recently subject to a separate review);
- policy discussions for which other independent processes have been initiated; in this regard, the Ministry of Labour has separate processes to examine issues such as:
- the gender wage gap;
- some specific issues concerning migrant workers;
- legislation dealing with compulsory interest arbitration for groups such as police, firefighters and hospital workers; and
- broader public sector bargaining structures.
The Special Advisors and the Ministry of Labour are encouraging members of the public to provide input for this Review. Ideas, comments and suggestions can be made to the Ministry of Labour by:
Mail: Changing Workplaces Review, ELCPB, 400 University Ave., 12th Floor Toronto, ON M7A 1T7
Comments will be accepted for the duration of the Review’s consultation period, which concludes on September 18, 2015.
The Review and its implementation could significantly impact employers that operate within the Review’s scope, therefore employers are encouraged to read the Review’s Guide to Consultations (link) and provide any input they deem necessary prior to the September 18, 2015 deadline.
In addition, the Special Advisors are hosting public consultation meetings throughout Ontario during which a presenter will be given up to ten minutes to provide their input. Upcoming Greater Toronto Area consultation meeting locations, times and dates are as follows:
Thursday September 10, 2015: Sheraton Hotel, 116 King W. St., Hamilton, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday September 11, 2015: Delta Toronto East, 2035 Kennedy Road, Scarborough, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Interested parties can register for these consultation meetings by email at CWR.SpecialAdvisors@ontario.ca or by telephone at 1-888-868-5844.
This blog is provided as information and a summary of workplace legal issues.
This information is not intended as legal advice.