Ontario’s Ministry of Labour has announced several upcoming blitzes during which it will ensure that employers in specified industries are compliant with particular areas of concern under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”). Both provincial and regional blitzes have been announced.
A recent posting on this blog dealt with the issue of unpaid internships, in follow-up to the announcement by Toronto Life magazine and The Walrus magazine that they were ending their unpaid internships following recent government inspections. Those inspections were part of the announced blitz with a focus on interns, which began in April and will continue until June in the areas of marketing/public relations, software development, retail, media, film and entertainment industries.
Also on the horizon is a provincial blitz to focus on vulnerable and temporary foreign workers which has been announced for the period from September to November 2014 in the following industries: restaurants, building services, personal care services, business support services and agriculture.
Finally, that will be followed in early 2015 with a provinncial blitz on temporary help agencies, in order to ensure that they are compliant with the laws relating to temporary help workers.
On a regional level, Simcoe, Peel, Dufferin & York veterinary clinics and security service firms will undergo a general ESA blitz in June and July of 2014. At the same time, Toronto and Durham region car dealerships and supermarkets will also undergo a general ESA blitz. Ottawa, Kingston, Peterborough, Hamilton, Kitchener/Waterloo, London and Windsor seasonal businesses and tourism-related businesses will see their own general ESA blitz from June through August and finally, professional offices in Northern Ontario will see a similar blitz in June and July.
It is always good to have your house in order; however, for companies which may be targeted by one of the blitzes noted above, it is of particular importance that your business be compliant with the ESA.
For more information, the Ministry’s announcement can be found at the following link: https://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/resources/blitzschedule.php.