Canada: Ontario Government to Proclaim Significant Amendments Regarding Workplace Safety and Insurance Costs and Penalties for Clients of Temporary Help Agencies
In a statement to a local newspaper, Ontario’s Minister of Labour indicated that the Ontario government will proclaim legislation written three years ago but never enacted – in particular, Schedule 5 of Bill 18 (also known as the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014, S.O. 2014, c. 10). Schedule 5 to Bill 18 would enable Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor in Council to make regulations that could potentially revolutionize the way workplace safety and insurance costs are allocated as between temporary help agencies and their clients.
Pursuant to Schedule 5, such regulations could require that, if a temporary help agency lends or hires out the services of a worker to certain employers and the worker sustains an injury while performing work for the other employer, the WSIB would, amongst other things:
- Deem the total wages that are paid in the current year to the worker by the temporary help agency for work performed for the client to be paid by the client;
- Attribute the injury and the accident costs arising from the injury to the client;
- Increase or decrease the amount of the client’s WSIB premiums based upon the frequency of work injuries or the accident costs or both;
- Require that, if a temporary help agency lends or hires out the services of a worker to certain clients and the worker sustains an injury while performing work for those clients, the client notify the WSIB of the injury; and
- Prescribe penalties for failure to comply with certain aspects of these regulations.
To verify when or whether a proclamation with respect to Bill 18 has been issued by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, please visit the Ontario government’s proclamations webpage.
If you are unsure as to whether or how the coming into force of Bill 18’s amendments to workplace safety and insurance legislation might affect your business operations in Ontario, it would be prudent to seek the advice of a labour and employment lawyer.