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Ontario Tightening Rules Around Mass Layoffs

Manjit Sing

The Ontario government is working for workers by proposing updates to employment laws that would respond to more workers being remote and a changing economy. Under the proposed changes, employees who work solely from home would be eligible for the same enhanced notice as “in-office” and other employees in mass termination situations. This would ensure that remote employees receive the same eight week minimum notice of termination or pay-in-lieu, preventing companies from taking advantage of them.

“Whether you commute to work every day or not shouldn’t determine what you are owed. No billion-dollar company should be treating their remote employees as second-class,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “The future of work is here, and our government will continue to lead the country in ensuring workers have the protections they need to find better jobs and earn bigger paycheques in the 21st century economy.”

Also, under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (ESA), employers are currently only required to share the latest version of the employment standards poster, which outlines ESA workplace rights and responsibilities, with new employees. To protect precarious employees, the government is also proposing regulatory changes that would require employers to provide new hires with information in writing about their job, such as pay, work location and hours of work, and the date by which that information needs to be provided (e.g. before their first shift).

“We applaud Minister McNaughton for taking steps to ensure that all workers in Ontario are afforded the same rights and protections, regardless of their workplace setting,” said Chris Albinson, CEO and President of Communitech.

These proposed changes are part of a larger package that expands on the ground-breaking actions in the Working for Workers Acts, 2021 and 2022, which are already helping millions of people by introducing additional supports that embrace the future of work.

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