2020 HR Check List for Ontario Employers

Now that January is over and with it many of your New Year’s Resolutions, here is an HR Check List that employers should resolve to consider:

Ontario employers are required by law to have the following workplace policies:

  • an Accessibility Policy;
  • a Pay Equity Plan (employers with 10 or more employees);
  • a Workplace Health and Safety Policy; and
  • a Workplace Violence and Harassment Policy.

While not required by law, there are other policies that employers should consider implementing, including:

  • an Absenteeism Policy;
  • an Accommodation Policy;
  • a Human Rights Policy;
  • an Intoxicants Policy (updated to address medical and non-medical cannabis in addition to alcohol, prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs and illegal drugs);
  • an Investigations Policy;
  • a Privacy Policy; and
  • a Social Media Policy.

Ontario employers are required by law to carry out:

  • AODA training;
  • Harassment prevention and training;
  • Health and Safety prevention and training; and
  • Violence prevention and training.

Postings required by law in Ontario workplaces include:

  • Poster: “Health & Safety at Work: Prevention Starts Here”;
  • Poster: “What you Need to Know” about the Employment Standards Act;
  • Poster: “In Case of Injury” if your workplace is covered by the WSIB; and
  • Copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act must be available on site.

Health and Safety Committee or Representative are required by law in Ontario workplaces:

  • A Joint Health and Safety Committee must be formed and trained if your organization employs 20 or more employees.
  • A Health and Safety Representative must be selected and trained if your organization employs more than 5 but less than 20 employees.

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”):

  • December 31, 2020 is the deadline for organizations with 20 or more employees in Ontario to file an Accessibility Compliance Report. The Report form and additional information is available online from the Government of Ontario. Small organizations having more than 20 but fewer than 50 employees are only required to complete an accessibility report with respect to the accessibility standards for customer service.
  • January 1, 2021 is the deadline for organizations with 50 or more employees in Ontario to make website and web content accessible to the WCAG 2.0 standard.

Annual Document Update:

Review your employment agreements, employee handbooks and employment policies to ensure that they are compliant with the latest statutory revisions and judicial decisions.

And finally…

This blog is for information purposes only and its provision does not form a lawyer-client relationship or constitute legal advice. Employment law is a constantly evolving field, so you should contact Eric Kay at 416-777-4011 or ekay@dickinson-wright.com or another employment lawyer at Dickinson Wright LLP to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal issue or problem.

About the Author:

Eric Kay, Partner, is a labour and employment lawyer in the Toronto office and can be reached at 416.777.4011, ekay@dickinsonwright.com, and his biography is available here.