Employment and Legislation Updates

Employment and Legislation Updates

Stay up to date with the latest employment and legislation updates in Canada. List updated monthly.

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September 2022

Upcoming changes to Ontario Electronic Monitoring policy

Once again, Ontario is leading the charge for changing legislation, this time with updates to electronic monitoring for businesses.

Ontario is the first province to require transparency regarding electronic monitoring of employees’ digital work. Passed in April 2022, the act outlines how employers are required to create and maintain an electronic monitoring policy and undertake a variety of obligations with any use of tools associated with electronic monitoring including computers, cellphones, and GPS systems amongst other devices.

The lesson for employers is that they should implement unambiguous written policies that address both permitted employee usage of computers, as well as access and monitoring details of the computer or device by the employer. The policies should put employees on notice as to the circumstances in which the employer will access information on its computers or its network more broadly. The policies should confirm that data sent over the network remains the property of the employer and that employees who wish to maintain privacy in personal communications or other information should not send communication over the employer’s network.

Policy requirements

Employers with 25 or more employees have until October 11, 2022, to have a written policy in place.

The focus of the policy requirements is on transparency of the employer’s practices and expectations, specifically the following:

  1. A statement as to whether the employer engages in electronic monitoring of employees. Examples could include using GPS to track the movement of an employee’s delivery vehicle or software that tracks the websites that employees visit during work hours.
  2. Where the employer does electronically monitor employees, the policy must also contain:
    • A description of how the employer may electronically monitor employees.
    • A description of when; outlining the circumstances in which the employer may electronically monitor employees. For example, the employer monitors the employee’s movement in the vehicle for the entire workday, every workday, or the employer may monitor any time employee emails and online chats.
    • A description of why; outlining the purposes for which information obtained through electronic monitoring may be used by the employer. For example, the employer uses the information obtained to assist in setting routes for employee safety, ensure employees do not deviate from their delivery route during their shift and discipline employees who are untruthful about their whereabouts during working hours. Or, for example, they use may be to evaluate employee performance, to ensure the appropriate use of employer equipment and to ensure work is being performed during working hours.
  3. Date the policy was prepared and the date any changes were made.

Next steps for your business

As a good first step, employers are recommended to conduct a thorough review of their workforce to determine if they use technology that monitors employees’ activities or work and if they meet the 25-employee threshold.

If so, draft a policy and review any current policies for potential modification requirements and ensure no existing policy provisions are at risk of violating the electronic monitoring policy requirements.

A copy of the policy must be provided to each employee considering acceptable formats and timeframes.

Asking yourself where to start? People First HR can support policy review and creation, communication, and maintenance. We partner with organizations to ensure compliance with the ever-changing landscape. Contact us to learn more about how we can support your next policy project.

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Minimum wage updates across Canada

Although minimum wage rates went up in multiple provinces in the spring of 2022, yet another increase is coming soon, and businesses are urged to prepare for how this change may impact them and their employees. Minimum wage is the lowest wage rate an employer can pay an employee.

ProvinceCurrent minimum wage
(per hour)
Minimum wage
Effective October 1, 2022
(per hour)
Nova Scotia$13.35$13.60
New Brunswick$12.75$13.75
Newfoundland & Labrador$13.20$13.70

If you have questions about updated legislation or how these upcoming changes could impact your business, consider a membership with HR OnCall, your first call is free!

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EI benefits are changing

Starting September 25, 2022, the temporary changes that were made to Employment Insurance (EI) to assist Canadians’ access to benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic will no longer be in effect. On September 25, the program will revert to its original framework.

For the last year, temporary measures have been in place where workers qualify for EI (regular and special benefits) based on a national requirement of having 420 insurable employment hours. This measure is reverting to the original framework requiring 420 to 700 hours depending on the regional unemployment rate to access regular EI benefits.

Learn more about how different EI benefit types will be affected.

Secondly, during the COVID-19 pandemic, special measures were put in place for the Work-Sharing Program where employers and employees would mutually benefit to avoid employee layoffs. These measures extended the duration of Work-Sharing agreements by an additional 38 weeks followed by a possible new 26-week subsequent agreement.

These special measures are set to expire on September 25, 2022. Learn more.

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