Last year the Ontario Government initiated a review of the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (the LRA) and the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the ESA) to ensure that the province’s labour relations and employment standards legislation continue to reflect the realities of the modern workforce, workplace and economy. The Review, which has included extensive public consultations, is being conducted by two special advisors: C. Michael Mitchell, formerly union-side labour lawyer, and the Honourable John C. Murray, a former Ontario Superior Court judge and management-side labour lawyer.
On July 27, 2016, the Ministry of Labour released the special advisor’s Interim Report and opened a window for further public consultations. This gives employers and other stakeholders, what could be their final opportunity to weigh in on approximately 50 labour and employment issues and over 225 options for addressing them identified in the Interim Report, including whether it would be appropriate to: revert to a card-check model for certification; restrict or prohibit the use of replacement workers during labour disputes; modify or eliminate the current ESA exemptions including the manager/supervisor exemption; overhaul the ESA personal emergency leave provision; and provide just cause protection for employees covered by the ESA.
Although the deadline for submissions on personal emergency leave has already passed, there is still time to make submissions on all aspects of the Interim Report. To submit comments, ideas and suggestions, contact the Ministry of Labour by October 14, 2016 at:
Mail: Changing Workplaces Review, ELCPB
400 University Ave, 12th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1T7
After this phase of consultations concludes, the special advisors will provide the Ministry of Labour with a final report and recommendations to help inform changes to modernize Ontario’s labour and employment laws.