Proposed changes to the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”)
If Bill 66 is implemented in its current form, the ESA would be amended such that employers would no longer be required to obtain the Director of Employment Standards’s approval to make agreements to:
permit their employees to exceed 48 hours of work in a work week; or
allow averaging of an employee’s hours of work for the purpose of determining the employee’s entitlement to overtime pay.
Under Bill 66, the employer would be able to average the employee’s hours of work over a period not exceeding four weeks in accordance with the terms of an averaging agreement between the employer and the employee. Existing overtime averaging agreements in unionized workplaces would continue to be effective until a subsequent collective agreement comes into effect.
The current requirement to obtain the Director’s approval for excess hours and overtime averaging agreements came into effect in 2005 under the Liberal government. The provisions were controversial at the time due to the administrative burden placed on employers to obtain these approvals.
In addition, Bill 66 contemplates that employers would no longer be required to post a poster in their workplaces to provide information to employees about the ESA and its regulations.