The Accessibility for Manitobans Act: How does this law impact your business?

Since becoming law in 2013, The Accessibility for Manitobans Act has been applied in stages.

Customer Service Standard Regulation

The first stage is all about customer service. You must ensure the service provided by your employees removes all barriers for people with physical, vision, hearing, mental health, developmental and learning disabilities, so they have equal opportunity to participate in everyday life.

For now, the changes do not require you to invest in building renovations to add wheelchair ramps and other accessibility features, but there are steps to follow to make sure your business is compliant when providing goods and services.

Businesses should be in compliance with this Regulation as of November 1, 2018. Check the resources below to help with your compliance.

Customer Service Standard: Businesses with 1-49 employees

As of November 1, 2018 all private businesses must:

1. Create a company Customer Service Standard. Your plan should address barriers that prevent all customers from receiving service, to:

  • Meet the communication needs of customers
  • Allow assistive devices such as wheelchairs and walkers
  • Welcome service animals and support persons
  • Ensure accessibility is maintained as intended, such as keeping wheelchair ramp clear
  • Let customers know when accessible services are not available, such as temporary shutdown of an elevator
  • Invite customer feedback

2. Train your employees about your company’s Customer Service Standard. Discuss how they are to serve customers of all abilities, including reasonable accommodations under The Human Rights Code.

Customer Service Standard: Businesses with 50+ employees

As of November 1, 2018 all private businesses must:

1. Create a company Customer Service Standard. Your plan should address barriers that prevent all customers from receiving service, to:

  • Meet the communication needs of customers
  • Allow assistive devices such as wheelchairs and walkers
  • Welcome service animals and support persons
  • Ensure accessibility is maintained as intended, such as keeping wheelchair ramp clear
  • Let customers know when accessible services are not available, such as temporary shutdown of an elevator
  • Invite customer feedback

2. Train your employees about your company’s Customer Service Standard. Discuss how they are to serve customers of all abilities, including reasonable accommodations under The Human Rights Code.

3. Create a public notice to be displayed prominently in the business and on your website. The notice outlines that upon request, people can receive information about your company’s:

  • measures, policies and practices
  • training policy, including a summary of the content of the training and when the training is to be provided.

Note: In May, 2019 the Customer Service Standard Regulation was amended. The requirements for documentation originally applied to businesses with 20 or more employees. It is now required when there are more than 50 employees.

Customer Service Standard: Tools to help with compliance

Accessible Employment Standard Regulation

The second stage is about removing and preventing barriers that may affect current and future employees with disabilities. It builds on requirements set out in the Manitoba Human Rights Code, and applies to all full-time, part-time, seasonal and apprentice employees.

The Covid-19 pandemic delayed the original compliance date of May 1, 2020. The province now requires businesses to comply with this Regulation by May 1, 2022. Tools and resources to help you comply are available below.

Accessible Employment Standard: Businesses with 1-49 employees

By May 1, 2022, your company must have:

1. Workplace Emergency Response Information: Create emergency response information to help employees with disabilities stay safe during emergencies.

2. Workplace Emergency Assistance: Ask employees who require assistance during an emergency for permission to share information with individuals who agree to help.

Accessible Employment Standard: Businesses with 50+ employees

By May 1, 2022, your company must have:

1. Workplace Emergency Response Information: Create emergency response information to help employees with disabilities stay safe during emergencies.

2. Workplace Emergency Assistance: Ask employees who require assistance during an emergency for permission to share information with individuals who agree to help.

Your company must also:

  • Document in writing all accessible employment policies and practices, including the content and timeframe for training.
  • Make these documents publically available and in accessible formats, by request.

Accessible Employment Standard: Tools to help with compliance

We've assembled resources to make the task easier.

Contact CFIB’s Business Resources team at 1-888-234-2232 or msman@cfib.ca for more information.

CFIB will continue to update members as the province launches more regulations under the AMA. If you have questions about AMA, reach out to a CFIB Business Advisor at 1-888-234-2232 or cfib@cfib.ca.