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New Employment Standards Affecting Condominium Corporations

In addition to being busy amending the Condominium Act, the Province has also been busy amending the Employment Standards Act (the “ESA”). Some amendments to the ESA came into effect on January 1, 2018 and more amendments are coming later in 2018. The purpose of this blog is to summarize some of these changes and obligations imposed on employers. These changes have an impact on condominium corporations with employees.

Changes to the Employment Standards Act

The ESA is the provincial legislation prescribing certain minimum standards that must be adhered to in the workplace. The employment standards set out in the ESA apply with respect to an employee and his or her employer if the employee’s work is performed in Ontario (unless otherwise provided by the ESA). As such condominium corporations, property managers and their respective employees are covered by the Act and must abide by it.

Many changes to the ESA came into force on New Year’s Day, including:

  • Raising Ontario’s general minimum wage to $14 per hour;
  • Expanding the forms and durations of protected leaves afforded to employees;
  • Increasing paid vacation to three weeks after five years of service with the same employer.

Further changes will be implemented to the ESA on April 1, 2018, particularly with respect to equal pay for employees who perform substantially similar work in the same establishment. For more information on the changes to the ESA, we invite you consult Gowling’s guide.

Condominium corporations and property managers who employ employees should review their human resources practices and policies to comply with the ESA. Involving a lawyer in that process is advisable.

Mandatory Poster must be Posted

As a result of the amendments to the ESA, to help ensure that both employees and employers are aware of their rights and obligations, the Ministry of Labour has released a new version of its Employment Standards Poster (the “Poster”). All employers covered by the ESA must post the most recent version of the Poster (version 7.0) in their workplace at a location where employees are likely to see it. Employers must also provide to all employees covered by the ESA a copy of the Poster. An employer can provide a hard copy of the Poster or attach an electronic copy to an email to the employees.

The English version of the Poster must be posted in the workplace. However, if the language of the majority of employees in the workplace is a language other than English, such as French, than the French version of the poster must be displayed next to the English version. A copy of the poster in different languages can be found on the website of the Ministry of Labour.

An employer who is required to post the Poster and fails to post the most recent version of the Poster would contravene the ESA. In such a case, an employment standards officers could take action to enforce the ESA. Remember if you hire any new employees that they must be provided a copy of the poster within 30 days of their start date.

Condominium corporations and property managers should take the time to familiarize themselves with all of these new changes and regularly review their human resources practices and policies to make sure they comply with the evolving legislation.