Changing workplaces review announces public consultation dates

May 22, 2015

The previously announced review of Ontario’s existing labour and employment legislation in Ontario has now established its schedule for public consultations beginning in Toronto on June 16, 2015. It has also published a Guide to Consultations.

In February 2015, the Ontario government appointed C. Michael Mitchell, formerly of Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP (a worker side law firm), and the Honourable John C. Murray, a former Justice of the Ontario Superior Court and management labour lawyer, as Special Advisors to coordinate and lead a review on issues and trends affecting workers and employers in the modern Ontario workplace and to prepare a final report and recommendations.

Known as the Changing Workplaces Review, the Review has now scheduled public consultations about how the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (LRA) and the Employment Standards Act. 2000 (ESA) could be modernized to reflect the needs of workers and employers.  Public consultations will begin in Toronto on June 16, 2015 and continue over the summer in various other communities.  Written comments may be provided through September 18, 2015.

The review is focused on how the legislation noted above could be amended to reflect today’s realities in the workplace.  That said, the review will not consider the following areas:

  • construction industry provisions of the LRA
  • the minimum wage
  • policy discussions for which other independent processes are underway including:
    - the gender wage gap
    - certain issues regarding migrant workers
    - compulsory interest arbitration for certain groups (firefighters, police)
    - broader public sector bargaining structures.

The review is expected to touch on issues ranging from changing demographics of workers, the shift from manufacturing to service based industries, the increase in non-standard employment (temporary, part-time and self-employment), the evolution of work structures and organizations (including smaller organizations with flatter org charts) and the present day state of collective representation.

The written Guide to Consultations can be accessed here.

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