A decision of the Ontario Divisional Court helps answer questions on how employers can handle employee medical notes or doctor’s recommendations that don’t seem quite right. In ‘Ontario Employers’ Right To Request Independent Medical Examinations’ at the Benefits and Pensions Monitor website, Laurie Jessome, a partner specializing in employment law and chair of the advocacy group at Cassels Brock, explains how in Bottiglia v. Ottawa Catholic School Board, 2017, the Divisional Court says employers do not need legislative or contractual authority to require that an employee submit to an independent medical examination as long as they have reasonable and bona fide grounds for requesting the examination.

excerpt from Benefits and Pension Monitor – ONLINE

Global health-care plan costs to rise faster than inflation in 2018: report

The average cost increases for employer-sponsored health-care plans are set to increase at a faster rate than inflation in 2018, according to a new report by Aon…

…Canada is not too far behind with an expected six per cent rise in costs for extended health-care plans. After inflation of 2.1 per cent, the projected cost increase is 3.9 per cent. That’s compared to an overall cost increase of eight per cent in 2017 and a net rise of 6.1 per cent. The report notes this increase is currently trending lower relative to the rest of North America and the world, reversing a multi-year trend.

Bill 148 is Now the Law in Ontario

Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, which significantly amends Ontario labour and employment law, has received Royal Assent and is now law. Earlier in 2017, the Ontario government issued its response to a Final Report two Special Advisors drafted as part of their Changing Workplaces Review. This Final Report included 173 recommendations for amendments to Ontario employment and labour laws.

Younger employees prioritize ‘purpose’ of work before pay, benefits: report

Younger generations value interesting work, continuous learning and work-life balance over pay and benefits, according to a new report by consultancy and marketing agency Lovell Corp.

The report, part of a research study conducted in partnership with the University of Guelph, aims to provide insights into the career aspirations, work values and career priorities of millennials and generation Z, with an emphasis on how employers can better attract, retain and engage these younger generations.

Bill 148 & ESA Update: What employers need to know

Bill 148 passes second reading

We first reported on Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 in our Employment Update in June 2017. Since that time, the Bill has passed second reading and is currently back before the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. For the most part, the significant changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) contemplated by the previous version of Bill 148 remain intact. These include:

Have kids under 25 taking higher cost speciality drugs?

Final details of the OHIP+ program are still coming in dribs and drabs.

One area where we may see issues is for those under 25 years old, currently on medication that is on the Ontario EAP formulary.  In the past, these medications were paid for by the benefit plan, but going forward the province will pay the cost once an application has been made to, and approved by, the provincial program.

Exceptional Access Program and OHIP+ – plan member action required

The province is recommending that for those individuals taking a drug on an ongoing basis, they should be encouraged to talk to their doctor to see if the drug is part of the government’s EAP.  If it is they should ask their doctor to submit an EAP request form now to avoid interruption of coverage on Jan 1. 

Due to the provinces change in process, failing to make this application could result in the benefit plan ceasing to pay for these often expensive drugs.

Communication about OHIP+ will continue in the coming months.