Is your business in compliance?
Are you aware that your business is legally required to take these steps in the workplace?
Mandatory Employee Screening
Who should you be screening?
Effective Saturday, September 26, 2020, the Government of Ontario amended regulation O. Reg 364/20 which sets the rules for areas in Stage 3 under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to Covid-19) Act.
“The person responsible for a business or organization that is open shall operate the business or organization in compliance with the advice, recommendations and instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health on screening individuals.”
There is now a mandatory requirement for all workplaces in Ontario to proactively screen all workers and essential visitors each day for COVID-19-related symptoms prior to entering your place of business.
- Workers are intended to include students, contractors or volunteers that conduct business or related activities where applicable and appropriate.
- Essential visitors include any individuals providing a service in the establishment who are not employees or patrons of the establishment such as delivery, maintenance, contract workers, etc.
Who is exempted from being screened?
It does not apply to:
- your customers
- essential workers who travel outside of Canada for work
- emergency services or other first responders who may enter a workplace for emergency purposes.
What are the minimum questions I should be asking my employees?
The Ministry of Health has created a COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces (Business and Organizations) to help you screen your workers and essential visitors.
When should I be screening my employees?
You must screen your workers and essential visitors:
- before they come in your place of business
- or at the beginning of their shift when a worker enters the workplace
- or when an essential visitor arrives to your place of business.
What if my employee fails the screening?
Anyone who fails screening must be advised that they cannot enter the workplace and should self-isolate, call their health care provider or Telehealth Ontario. Should the individual pass the screening questions, they can enter the workplace, but must report any symptoms immediately.
How long do I keep a record of my employees screening results?
We highly encourage all business owners to keep a record for a period of 30 days.
Are there any additional COVID-19 resources I should read?
Quarantine and Self-Isolate :Learn how to self-isolate at home and Guidance for the General Public: Testing, Quarantine and Self-Isolation
• COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Ontario webpage(find a testing location, check your results, how to stop the spread of the virus).
• Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development’s Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace
• Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Guidance for Essential Workplaces
What is the definition of a Workplace?
As per OHSA – Workplace is any location an employee reports to perform their duties. (this is the definition under the Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA): “workplace” means any land, premises, location or thing at, upon, in or near which a worker works; (“lieu de travail”)
What about Privacy for the Screening Sheets?
The screening sheets should be kept completely confidential, due to the fact they contain medical information.
How can I make my own online screening tool?
Employment Standards Act Poster
Which poster do I need to provide my employees?
As an employer, you are required to provide each employee with a paper or electronic copy of the poster. The poster can be printed in colour or black and white.
Click on the links below. In PDF format:
How soon do I need to provide a copy of the poster to my employees?
Please note that the Ministry of Labour updated the poster as of September 8, 2020. In the case of new hires, employers will have 30 days from the employee's start date to provide them with the poster and it must be provided in languages other than English if an employee requests a translated version.
How do I keep track of which employees I have provided these posters to?
While the government does not have a specific process or requirement, it would be prudent to keep a log or record of date and initials of employees that received it, as well if they received a paper or electronic copy.
What other languages is the poster available?
Click on the links below. In PDF format:
- Chinese (Traditional)
- Chinese (Simplified)
If an employee requests the poster in one of the languages listed above, the employer is required to provide a copy of the Employment Standards poster in that language. Please note that posters in other languages must be posted beside the English version. Call Service Ontario at 1 800 668-9938. Please note that shipping for the poster, regardless of the number of copies requested, is $6.00.
What if I fail to provide this poster to my employees?
The poster may be one of the various items that a Ministry of Labour inspector would look for during an inspection. Businesses could face fine of $295.00 for non-compliance.
Is there anything else I should know about the Employment Standards Act?
The Ministry of Labour’s Employment Standards Act, sets out the minimum entitlements of your employees. The act covers a variety of compliance requirements from break time, overtime, public holiday, vacation pay and many more areas. Please contact your Business Resources team to obtain further details.
Occupational Health and Safety Poster and Compliance
Which poster do I need to post in my workplace?
You are required to post the Health and Safety – Prevention Starts Here poster in your workplace. You are not required to provide a copy to your employees, however, you can as part of your safety measures in place. This poster must be posted in English and any other language spoken in your business. Here is a list of the posters in all languages offered by the Ministry of Labour:
Do you have your copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Greenbook)?
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) must be posted in the workplace, where employees can read it.
Where can I purchase a copy of the greenbook for my business?
What is my green book publication number?
In order to purchase your copy of the greenbook, you will need to know the publication number that is associated to your industry. Here are few examples of the common publication numbers:
- 300151 - Occupational Health and Safety Act; January 2020
- 300152 - Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulation for Industrial Establishments, Regulation 851; January 2020
- 300170 - Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulation for Farming Operations January 2020
- 300150 - Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulation for Construction Projects, Ontario Regulation 278/05; January 2020
Am I required to have a health and safety representative or health and safety committee?
This depends on the nature of your business and health and safety risks involved. However, workplaces with more than five employees have a health and safety representative. This individual is not part of management and elected by employees. If you have more than twenty employees, but less than forty nine, you are required to have a Joint Health and Safety Committee.
What if I fail to have a health and safety representative or joint health and safety committee?
Failure to having a representative or committee can be a fine of $550.00
What is a Harassment policy and program?
You are required to prepare a workplace harassment policy and program under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). In addition to including the definition of workplace harassment as defined by the OHSA in its policy, you may include the following behaviors as examples of workplace harassment:
- offensive or intimidating comments or jokes.
- bullying or aggressive behavior.
- displaying or circulating offensive pictures or materials.
- inappropriate staring.
- workplace sexual harassment.
- isolating or making fun of a worker because of gender identity.
Workplace sexual harassment includes unwelcome solicitation or advances from a manager, supervisor or another person who has the power to reward or punish the worker. Please read the Code of Practice on the Ontario Ministry of Labour's website.
Is there a template available to create a Harassment policy and program?
Am I required to train my employees on harassment in the workplace?
No, you are not required to hire a third party to conduct harassment training. However, you are required to train employees on your company policies and program. The Ministry of Labour does not have a specific training recommendation. If you are comfortable, you can train your employees, or look for external training materials, course and guidance.
I am not comfortable investigating a situation in the workplace. What should I do next?
If you find yourself in a situation where you require an impartial party to take a complaint or investigate a complaint from an employee, please consider getting expert legal advice from a lawyer experienced in employment law or occupational health & safety. It may be prudent to have this resource in place before a complaint is made.
What if I fail to have a Harassment/Violence policy in my workplace?
Failure to having a workplace harassment or violence policy can result in a fine of $550.
Is there a template available to create a Violence policy and program?
Am I required to hire a third party to train my employees on violence in the workplace?
No, you are not required to hire a third party to conduct violence training. However, you are required to train employees on your company policies and program. The Ministry of Labour does not have a specific training recommendation. If you are comfortable, you can train your employees, or look for external training materials, course and guidance.
What is a Health and Safety policy and program?
You are required to take every reasonable precaution to protect worker safety, including health and safety instruction and supervision. The most effective way to ensure worker safety is to have a health & safety policy and plan in the workplace. The following is a basic list provided by the Ministry of Labour of elements that may be included in your program:
- Worker training (e.g., new workers, WHMIS, new job procedures)
- Workplace inspections and hazard analysis
- Analysis of the accidents and illnesses occurring at the workplace
- A health and safety budget
- A formal means of communication to address promptly the concerns of workers
- Confined space entry procedure
- Lock out procedure
- Machine guarding
- Material handling practices and procedures
- Maintenance and repairs
- Protective equipment
- Emergency procedures
- First aid and rescue procedures
- Electrical safety
- Fire prevention Engineering controls (e.g., ventilation)
Is there a template available to create a Health and Safety and program?
Am I required to train my employees on Health and Safety in the workplace?
Yes, the responsibility to ensure that employees are safe in the workplace falls on you, the employer. You should have policies, procedures, trainings specific to the role of the individual.
What is the Health and Safety Awareness training?
The Health and Safety Awareness training is a mandatory training for all worker and supervisors in Ontario. It covers the duties and rights of worker, duties of employers and supervisors, the role of joint health and safety committee and representative, etc.
How do I get access to the Health and Safety Awareness Training?
Your employees can access the online training (produces a certificate of completion) or a PDF version (workbook is proof of completion) through the following links:
- Worker Health and Safety Awareness – (45-60 minutes) or PDF version
- Supervisor Health and Safety Awareness – (45-60 minutes) or PDF version
Please note training is free. You are required to pay employee for time spent on completing module. We have been informed by Ministry of Labour that attempting to ‘fast-forward’ through the videos may result in the module not functioning as designed.
How do I keep track of my employees training?
Work Safety and Insurance Board
Which poster do I need to post in my workplace?
What are my First Aid training compliance obligations?
Depending on how many workers you have on a shift and if your workplace is covered by WSIB, you must train your employees on:
- Emergency First Aid certificate (6.5-hour training): if you have five or fewer employees working on any given shift.
- Standard First Aid certificate (13-hour training): if you have six or more employees working on any given shift.
Who can deliver the emergency and standard first aid training?
What are my obligations with our workplace First Aid Kit?
No Smoking No Vaping
Who must post the smoke-free and vape free posters in the workplace?
If you have an enclosed workplace or enclosed public space as described by the Smoke-Free Ontario Act 2017 or Ontario Regulations 268/18.
Where do I post the individual or combined tobacco/e-cigarette signs?
The tobacco/e-cigarette (individual or combination) should be posted at each entrance, exit, and washroom to guarantee your employees or the public do not smoke, regardless if it is for medical or recreational purposes, tobacco, cannabis or vape.
What if I own a hotel, motel or inn, where do I post these signs?
You must post these signs in in all guest rooms considered “non-smoking” or “non-vaping”.
Where can I order these signs?
What if I fail to comply with the personal information protection standards?
Potential fee of up to $100,000.
What is the Accessibility for Ontarians Act?
The Ontario Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act that all employers in Ontario need to follow in order to reduce barriers or challenges that an employee or customer with disability may encounter.
What am I required to train my employees under accessibility law?
Train all your employees on:
If you have an employee that enforce regulations or handle your human resources process, train your employees on:
If your business provides services for the following means, train you employees with the following:
How do I keep track of which of my employee has completed a training?
Do I need an accessibility policy for my business?
If you have 50 or more employees, you should develop accessibility policies using the AccessOn guide and template.
What do I have to write on my job postings or website about accessibility?
On your job posting or on your website, you should let all those that apply that you will accommodate the needs of people with disability, during hiring process.
Ontario Government proposed sample message:
[Name of Organization] welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.
During the hiring process, tell job applicants when they are selected for an interview that accommodation will be provided.
If an applicant or successful candidate requests an accommodation, discuss their needs with them and make adjustments to support them.
How do I create an emergency preparedness plan for an employee I know has a disability?
How do I make it easy for those with disability, employee or customer, to provide feedback?
Am I required to complete a Compliance Report?
If you have more than 20 employees, you have to complete a Compliance Report. The next Compliance Reporting deadline is December 31, 2020.
What if I fail to comply with the accessibility laws?
Potential fine of up to $500.00 (up to $2000 for the first offence).