Ontario to launch consultations on labour laws

This spring, Ontario will launch public consultations on the changing nature of the modern workplace.

The public consultations will focus how the Labour Relations Act, 1995 and Employment Standards Act, 2000 could be amended to best protect workers while supporting businesses in the changing economy.

Unifor welcomes today’s announcement from the Ontario Ministry of Labour that it will be taking action to modernize Ontario’s labour laws. The province announced the launch of a public consultation that will focus on modernizing employment standards and labour relations in the province.

“Work has changed, and the laws protecting workers must change,” says Katha Fortier, Unifor’s Ontario regional director. “Jobs and the labour market in Ontario look very different than in previous decades, but our current labour law does not reflect those changes.”

Read: Ontario makes changes to workplace laws

Workplace trends that will be examined include the following:

  • the increase in non-standard working relationships such as temporary jobs, part-time work and self-employment;
  • the rising prominence of the service sector;
  • globalization and trade liberalization;
  • accelerating technological change; and
  • greater workplace diversity.

The government notes non-standard employment (which includes part-time, temporary, self-employment and job sharing) has grown almost twice as fast as standard employment since 1997.

Two special advisors will lead the consultations: C. Michael Mitchell, formerly of Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP, and the Honourable John C. Murray, a former justice of the Ontario Superior Court and prominent management labour lawyer.

Following the conclusions of the consultations, the advisors will provide the government with a written report and recommendations.

Unifor welcomes the announcement from the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

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