In A Flash

Ontario Announces Further Changes to the Employment Standards Act

On May 3, 2024, the Government of Ontario announced that it would be introducing legislation which, if passed, would increase fines under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) and create further obligations on employers during the recruitment and hiring process.

Among the proposed changes include doubling the maximum fine for individuals convicted of violating the ESA from $50,000 to $100,000, making this the highest such fine in Canada. Other regulatory changes include increasing the penalty for repeat offenders (three or more times, of the same provision of the ESA) from $1000 to $5000, again, one of the highest penalties in Canada.

Further changes to the recruitment and hiring process include requiring large employers to disclose in publicly advertised job ads whether a job vacancy exists or not. Large employers would also be required to respond to job applicants who have been interviewed for publicly advertised job postings (to prevent “ghosting” candidates).

The Government has indicated that it will consult on these proposed changes, such as on the size of the business that these measures would apply to, as well as the most efficient way to respond to job applicants once a position has been filled.

These changes build on previous changes implemented through a series of Working for Workers Acts passed over the last few years. See our coverage of the most recent Working for Workers Four Act here.

If you have any questions about this topic or any other questions relating to workplace law, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.

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