Ontario’s Ministry of Labour Announces Workplace Inspection Blitzes

Authored by Nevena Urosevic

On May 19, 2015, the Ministry of Labour (“MOL”) announced inspection blitzes targeting precarious employment violations in Ontario. The purpose of the blitz inspections is to protect vulnerable workers. The blitzes seek to ensure that employers are complying with key requirements of Ontario’s Employment Standards Act[i]. Specifically, the MOL will inspect violations of:

  • Minimum wage
  • Overtime pay
  • Meal breaks
  • Other worker entitlements

Precarious employment is defined as “work that is seasonal, part-time or temporary” and is contrasted to traditional employment which “typically involves a full-time, permanent arrangement with one employer”.[ii]  Ontario, like other provinces, has seen an increase in the proportion of jobs economists deem “precarious”, with national statistics indicating that 40% of workers are engaged in precarious forms of work.[iii]

The MOL is particularly interested in workplaces where the following groups of individuals are employed:

  • New, young, and vulnerable workers engaged in “precarious employment”
  • Temporary foreign workers engaged in all types of employment arrangements

The MOL on-site visits will take place until July 31, 2015.  According to the MOL’s website, [iv] Occupational health and safety inspectors will  be conducting proactive blitzes and initiatives on sector-specific hazards; these are also designed to raise awareness and increase compliance with the Ontario Health and Safety Act.

[i] 2000, S.O. 2000, c. 41.

[ii] “Inspection Blitzes Target Precarious Employment Violations in Ontario”, News Release, May 19, 2015, Ministry of Labour, Government of Ontario < http://news.ontario.ca/mol/en/2015/05/inspection-blitzes-target-precarious-employment-violations-in-ontario.html>.

[iii] “Falling Through The Cracks”, May 4, 2015,  Canadian HR Reporter – The National Journal of Human Resource Management at pg. 9.

iv “Inspection Blitzes and Initiatives”, May 2015, Ontario Ministry of Labour <http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/resources/blitzschedule.php>.

Noteworthy is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Every organization’s circumstances are unique. Before acting on the basis of information contained in this blog, readers should consult with a qualified lawyer for advice specific to their situation.