988 hotline for those facing mental health crisis launches across Canada

This is a great new service…spread the word.

Similar to 911, 3 digits will connect people to suicide prevention services quickly

Canada’s 988 hotline, which gives people access to suicide prevention services via call or text, went live on Thursday.

People in every province and territory who are experiencing a mental health crisis and need immediate, real-time support can use the three-digit number.

Similar to 911 for accessing fire, police and medical emergencies, 988: Suicide Crisis Helpline is a short, easy-to-remember number to get a quick response from coast to coast to coast, 24/7 and free of charge.


Ontario Legislative Updates

This is a summary of the Ontario changes passed or pending that may affect clients.  The info is provided by e2r HR/Law

Further to our last Alert, here are some additional legislative updates that employers should be aware of.

Working For Workers, 2023

On October 26, 2023 the Working for Workers Act, 2023 received Royal Assent and is now in force. Among a whole slew of changes the following are the most notable:

  • Mass Terminations – Remote workers, along with in-office workers, are now to be included when calculating whether an employer meets the threshold of 50 or more employees being terminated. If this threshold is met during a 4-week period, mass termination requirements are triggered.
  • Increased Fines – The Ontario Health and Safety Act has been amended to allow for maximum fines to be increased from $1,500,000 to $2,000,000.
  • Information for New Hires – The Act allows regulations to be introduced that could require Ontario employers to provide current and prospective employees with written information on their position. No specific regulations have been released as of yet.
  • Licenses for Recruiters and Temporary Help Agencies – Temporary help agencies must have a licence to operate, and recruiters must have a licence to act as a recruiter as of July 1, 2024. This does not include employees performing recruiting’s functions as a duty of their position within an organization and recruiting for their organization.

Working For Workers Four Act, 2023

On November 14, 2023, the Ontario government introduced another Working for Workers Act that, if passed would it include the following updates:

  • Recruitment – Ontario employers would be required to include expected salary ranges in job postings and indicate if artificial intelligence (AI) is used during their hiring process. Additionally, the Act may ban the use of Canadian work experience as a requirement for a position.
  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) – The concept of “super indexing” would be introduced, allowing for benefits to increase greater than inflations.
  • Restaurant and Service Workers – Ontario employers would be required to provide greater protections for workers in the hospitality industry by banning unpaid trial shifts, banning deductions of employee’s wages (in the event of a dine and dash, gas and dash, or any other stolen property), and requiring greater clarity around tips.
  • Vacation Pay – Ontario employers would be required to have employees sign an agreement to allow for “alternate pay arrangements”.



Canadian jurisdictions enacting pay transparency legislation

Provincial legislation on Pay Transparency is expanding across the country.  What this means is that you may (likely) be required to share pay ranges in pubic job postings that could be applied for remotely from anywhere across Canada.  The article below shares more information.

Don’t forget that the Ontario Pay Equity legislation governs all firms over 10 employees in Ontario and must also be complied with. (MORE HERE)

Pay transparency legislation is quickly gathering steam in Canada as provincial governments take steps towards shrinking the gender wage gap.

Prince Edward Island was first to the post with pay transparency provisions in June 2022. While Newfoundland and Labrador’s Pay Equity and Transparency Act received royal assent in November 2022, its pay transparency provisions haven’t been proclaimed into force.

This year, Nova Scotia’s Pay Equity and Pay Transparency Act received first reading on Oct. 27 and Ontario announced plans to require salary ranges in job postings earlier in November. Meanwhile, Manitoba’s new provincial government — which proposed pay transparency laws while in opposition but saw them voted down twice — has recently indicated it will likely reintroduce legislation.

As of Nov. 1, British Columbia employers are required to post expected salaries and wages for publicly advertised job postings. The province released an additional guidance stating that, while job postings don’t need to include information on bonuses, overtime, tips or benefits, the posted salary range must have a specific upper and lower limit.