Labour & Employment Law Blog

More Changes to Come to Labour and Employment Laws under Bill 66 in Ontario

On December 6, 2018, the Ontario government introduced another new bill that will make even further changes to Ontario’s labour and employment laws.  This new bill, called Bill 66 or the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018 (“Bill 66”), would make several amendments to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 and Ontario’s Labour Relations Act, 1995 in an effort to address certain concerns raised by employers and others.  These changes also seek to make Ontario businesses more competitive.  Bill 66 comes on the heels of other recent legislative changes made by Ontario’s government including the changes made in Bill 47 or Making Ontario Open for Business Act.  Further information about Bill 47 can be found in our recent blog post entitled “Premier Ford set to Reverse Recent Changes to Ontario Employment Laws.”

Bill 66 is not yet the law in Ontario but it has passed its first reading in the legislature.

The following are some key changes proposed under Bill 66 with respect to both the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”) and Labour Relations Act (“LRA”):

  1. Bill 66 will eliminate the duty of employers to post a copy of an ESA poster in the workplace.  The ESA poster currently sets out employer and employee rights and responsibilities under the ESA.  However, Bill 66 will still mandate that the employer must provide a copy of the poster to each employee.
  2. Bill 66 will eliminate the requirement that employers must obtain approval from the Director of Employment Standards in order for the employer to make agreements with employees to work more than 48 hours in one work week.
  3. Bill 66 will eliminate the requirement that employers must obtain approval from the Director of Employment Standards in order to average hours of work for the purposes of determining an employee’s entitlement to over-time pay.
  4. Bill 66 would amend the LRA to deem certain municipal workers as well as certain workers employed by local boards, school boards, hospitals, colleges, universities and public bodies to be “non-construction” employees.
  5. Bill 66 would eliminate any current binding collective agreements as a result of deeming the above workers to be “non-construction” employees and those trade unions would no longer be able to represent those workers.

Our Thoughts about Bill 66

We think that the most significant changes proposed under Bill 66 is with respect to the LRA.  Currently, workers for local boards, municipalities, school boards, universities, etc. are deemed to be “construction” employees and, as such, are subject to collective agreements as “construction” employees.  Bill 66 would make so those workers are no longer bound by any current collective agreement in the construction industry and those trade unions would not be able to represent those workers.

We believe that the purpose the government’s actions with respect to Bill 66 is to allow entities such as hospitals and universities to be able to work with non-union employees.  It will be interesting to see what happens if Bill 66 actually becomes the law in Ontario and what the reactions will be from trade unions that currently represent these workers.

In any event, we encourage employers to refrain from taking any major action about their employment policies or procedures with respect to Bill 66 given that Bill 66 is not yet the law in Ontario.  If either employers or employees have any questions about Bill 66 and how these new changes will affect the workplace, it is imperative that they speak with an employment lawyer to help guide them.

The above article is for general information purposes only, does not constitute legal advice or create a solicitor-client relationship. Because each case is unique and factually driven, if you have concerns with regard to the foregoing issues, please make an appointment with one of our lawyers or a qualified legal practitioner elsewhere. We represent clients in the Greater Toronto Area including Toronto, North York, Markham, Vaughan, Thornhill, Newmarket, Aurora, Brampton, Mississauga, Barrie, Ajax, Whitby, Pickering and Oshawa.

Legal Receptionist

Zeilikman Law is an employment law firm located in Vaughan, Ontario. We are looking to hire a legal receptionist to join our firm. Preference will be given to candidates who have experience working as a receptionist at another law firm.

Location: Vaughan, Ontario.

Start Date: Immediately.

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Full time. In-person only. This is not a remote work position.

Wages: 35,000 to 40,000 per year.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Manage our firm’s multi-line telephone system to receive incoming calls.  Screen incoming telephone call inquiries to determine the nature of the telephone call and provide standard information related to our legal services.  Take and deliver messages and route incoming telephone calls to the appropriate staff person.
  • Answer general inquiries coming from the firm’s social media and website email.
  • Welcome in-person visitors upon arrival.  Direct visitors to the appropriate staff person and / or office or boardroom.
  • Organize in-person visitor schedule to prevent overlap and multiple bookings.
  • Receive, sort, and distribute daily mail and deliveries.
  • Arrange for couriers.
  • Keep front reception, kitchenette area and boardroom tidy.
  • Perform various clerical duties such as filing, photocopying, and faxing on an as-needed basis.
  • Process client or other payments.
  • May be asked to run minor errands outside of office such as attending post office to arrange a courier or pick up mail.
  • May be asked to assist other law clerks or lawyers of the firm as required and as appropriate.
  • Any other basic administrative duties or tasks as deemed appropriate.

Required Skills:

  • Basic knowledge of general office procedures including filing, faxing, and printing and copying.
  • Basic word processing computer skills.
  • Proficient in receptionist and telephone practices, etiquette, and decorum.
  • Professional attitude and appearance.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Positive customer service attitude is a must.
  • Must be able to maintain confidential and sensitive information.

Education and Experience:

  • Highschool diploma or equivalent.
  • 1 – 2 years’ experience in an office setting with an emphasis in accounting, reception or clerical work is required.   We would prefer experience in a law firm environment.

Applications for this position should be sent via email to jennifer@zeilikmanlaw.com. All applications should include a cover letter, resume and at least two references. Only successful candidates will be contacted.