Ontario has introduced legislation that would increase corporate penalties and further protect workers.
If passed, the Employment and Labour Statute Law Amendment Act — which also makes changes to the Fire Prevention and Protection Act and the Public Sector Labour Relations Transition Act — would:
•allow Workplace Safety and Insurance Board survivor benefits to be calculated based on the average earnings, at the time of diagnosis, of the deceased worker's occupation rather than the current legislated minimum, which will potentially increase the amount of support families receive
•prohibit employers from trying to prevent workers reporting workplace injury or illness to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board by ensuring that they are protected from retribution
•increase maximum corporate penalties from $100,000 to $500,000 for conviction of an offence under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, such as knowingly making a false or misleading statement to the board or willfully failing to inform the board of a material change in circumstance within 10 days.
“Our government is committed to advancing safe, fair and respectful workplace practices," said Kevin Flynn, minister of labour. "That’s why I’ve proposed these changes, which will, if they become law, provide increased fairness to workers across Ontario by strengthening protections in legislation.”