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What The Working for Workers Act Means for Your Business

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New legislation includes policies for disconnecting from work, eliminating non-compete clauses

This week, the Government of Ontario passed the Working for Workers 2021 Act. The goal of the bill is to make the province the best place for people to work, live and raise a family.

According to Monte McNaughton, Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Training and Skill Development, the bill was passed to ensure our labour laws keep pace with the acceleration of new technology, automation, and remote work.

“This legislation is another step towards building back a better province and cementing Ontario’s position as a global leader, for others to follow, as the best place in the world to live, work and raise a family.” McNaughton said in an issued statement.

What are the legislative changes for Ontario businesses?

  • Require employers with 25 or more employees to have a written policy about employees disconnecting from their job at the end of the workday to help employees spend more time with their families.

  • Ban the use of non-compete agreements that prevent people from exploring other work opportunities in order to make it easier for workers to advance in their careers.

  • Help remove barriers, such as Canadian experience requirements, for internationally trained individuals to get licenced in a regulated profession and get access to jobs that match their qualifications and skills.

  • Require recruiters and temporary help agencies to have a licence to operate in the province to help protect vulnerable employees from being exploited.

  • Require business owners to allow delivery workers to use a company’s washroom if they are delivering or picking up items. This supports the delivery drivers, couriers and truck drivers who have kept our essential supplies and economy going throughout the pandemic.

  • Allow surpluses in the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s Insurance Fund to be distributed over certain levels to businesses, helping them cope with the impacts of COVID-19.

  • Enable the Workpl