Information on Bill 30, Family Caregiver Leave Act, 2011

Bill 30, Family Caregiver Leave Act (Employment Standards Amendment), 2011, legislation that, if passed, will amend the Employment Standards Act, 2000 to create Family Caregiver Leave, effective July 1, 2012. The initiative to provide eligible employees with up to eight weeks of job-protected unpaid leave was first outlined in the Ontario Liberal Party’s platform, which was released prior to the October, 2011 provincial election.

According to the government press release, the leave would be available to all full-time, part-time, permanent, or contract employees covered by the Employment Standards Act, 2000. If passed, employees would be eligible for the leave to care for:

  • a spouse;
  • the parent, step-parent, or foster parent of the employee or the employee’s spouse;
  • a child, step-child, or foster child of the employee or the employee’s spouse;
  • a grandparent, step-grandparent, grandchild, or step-grand-child of the employee or the employee’s spouse;
  • the spouse of a child of the employee;
  • the employee’s brother or sister; or
  • a relative of the employee who is dependent on the employee for care or assistance.

An employee would be required to have a medical certificate from a qualified health practitioner stating that the employee’s family member has a serious medical condition in order to be eligible for the leave. The employee would have to produce the medical certificate if requested by his or her employer.

Bill 30 would build on the existing Family Medical Leave, which currently provides up to eight weeks of job-protected leave to provide care or support to certain individuals if the individual has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death occurring within a period of 26 weeks.

Should Bill 30 pass, the Ontario government has indicated its intention to press the federal government for an extension of Employment Insurance benefits to those employees who qualify for the leave.

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2011 Ontario Budget Overview

HRPA has provided an overview of the 2011 Ontario Budget, introduced the on March 29, 2011, by Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan.

At a Glance:

  •        The 2010/11 deficit is projected to be $16.7 billion, $3 billion less than previously forecast
  •        In 2011/12, the deficit will fall to $16.3 billion
  •        The budget is not expected to be balanced until the 2017/18 fiscal year
  •        Private sector growth forecasts are 2.6% for 2011/12 and 2.8% for 2012/13
  •        Employment growth trails economic growth, at about 1.8% annually
  •        The unemployment rate is forecast at 8.2%, 7.7% and 7.1% for 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively, down from 9.0% in 2009.
  •        The biggest cost pressures remain in Health and Long-term Care, where total spending is forecast to rise 4.87% to $47.14       billion

To view HRPA’s overview of the budget, please click here

A copy of the Budget and all supporting documentation can be downloaded from the Ministry of Finance’s 2011 Budget website:http://ontariobudget.ca/

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Accessibility:

The first of several requirements for businesses under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act comes into effect on January 1, 2012.  Businesses must start building accessibility into their business plans and corporate cultures now in order to be successful.

In May, 2005 the Ontario Legislature approved the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The AODA applies to all persons and organizations in the public and private sectors who provide a good, service, facility, or accommodation to the public.

The legislation sets out a framework for the development of “standards”, and achieving incremental increases until full accessibility throughout Ontario is realized by 2025. Initially there will be four common standards which apply to all sectors, and an initial industry-specific standard.

For more information click here

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Employment Accessibility Standard – Final Proposed Standard

The Final Proposed Employment Accessibility Standard, as part of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, has now been posted on the Ministry of Community and Social Services’ website.  The Employment Accessibility Standard was developed by an external Employment Accessibility Development Committee (SDC).  This external committee included representatives from the disability community as well as the public and private sectors.

Those interested in reading the SDC’s final proposed standard can find more information on the Ministry of Community and Social Services’ website.

For more information click here

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Accessible Information and Communications (IC) Standard - Final Proposed Standard

 

 

The final proposed standard has now been submitted to the Minister of Community and Social Services for consideration as law. It is being posted for your information.

For more information click here

The proposed standard outlines how businesses and organizations may be required to create, provide and receive information and communications in ways that are accessible for people with disabilities.

The proposed IC standard is not the law yet.  If the Minister approves the whole standard, or parts of it, this will begin a process for it to become law in Ontario.  The proposed IC standard is one of four standards that are currently at different stages of development to become the law in Ontario.  The Accessibility Standard for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 was the first standard to become law, on January 1, 2008.

HRPA will update members when this standard begins the process of becoming law.

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Legislation:

Bill 168 – An Act to amend the Occupational Health & Safety Amendment Act (OHSA) with respect to violence and harassment in the workplace

Please be advised that the government passed Bill 168 entitled the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act (Violence and Harassment in the Workplace), 2009 in the Legislature on December 9, 2009.  For more information on Bill 168 please click here.

HRPA surveyed its members this summer on the proposed legislation and specific items in the bill. Click here to see survey results.

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Bill 154-Employment Standards Amendment Act (Organ Donor Leave), 2009

The Ontario government has introduced legislation that would, if passed, amend the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) to provide unpaid job–protected leave for employees who donate certain organs to another individual.

Bill 154 received Royal Assent on June 5, 2009.  T his Act comes into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor (June 5, 2009).

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Bill 139, Employment Standards Amendment Act (Temporary Help Agencies), 2009

The Ontario government passed legislation on May 4, 2009 to better protect “elect to work”—or temporary—employees under the Employment Standards Act, 2000.

In December, the government introduced Bill 139—the Employment Standards Amendments Act (Temporary Help Agencies), 2008. The bill sets out obligations and prohibitions relating to temporary help agencies and ensures temporary employees are treated fairly and have better opportunities to move to sustainable employment.

The new legislation addresses the following:

  • Establishes that temporary employees are covered by the Employment Standards Act
  • When a temporary employee is assigned work by the temporary help agency, that agency is the persons employer and this person is an employee of that agency
  • Ensures temporary workers are aware of their rights under the Employment Standards Act
  • Stops temporary help agencies from charging workers for resume writing and interview preparation
  • Ensures temporary workers have all the information they need about their assignments, especially pay schedules and job descriptions
  • Enables the government to enact future regulations so temporary employees have notice to termination and severance pay rights that align with the rights of permanent employees
  • When offering a work assignment with a client, temporary work agencies will have to provide:
    • The legal operating or business name of the client
    • Client contact information including address, telephone number and at least one contact name
    • The hourly or other wage rate or commission and benefits associated with each assignment
    • The hours of work for the assignment
    • A description of the work to be performed
    • The pay period and or pay date established by the temporary help agency

Bill 139 provides that the Act comes into force six months after the day it receives Royal Assent.

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Bill 118 – The Countering Distracted Driving and Promoting Green Transportation Act, 2009

Ontario’s new law prohibiting the use of hand-held cell phones and other hand-held communications and entertainment devices while driving is coming into effect on October 26, 2009.  Once the new law is in place, drivers who text, type, email, dial or chat using any hand-held device will face fines of up to $500 upon conviction.  Hands-free use will still be permitted.

Please click here for further information.

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