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Ontario Bill 149, the Working for Workers Four Act, 2024

April 2024

This blog post is general in nature. It does not capture all the changes proposed in Bill 149 and must not be interpreted as providing legal advice or guidance.

Bill 149, the Working for Workers Four Act, 2024, received royal assent on March 21, 2024. This Act will mean changes to how Ontario employers interact with potential employees and existing employees. The Act means changes to several pieces of legislation: the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA),the Digital Platform Workers’ Rights Act, 2022, the Fair Access to Regulated Professions and Compulsory Trades Act, 2006, and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

The changes will come into force at different times. Some are now in force as of March 21, 2024, while others will be effective at a later date. Employers must be mindful of the changes and make preparations and adjustments to their HR practices. Please get in touch to discuss how we can help.


Here are a few key aspects and pointers, recognizing that additional legislative information, timelines, and clarifications are still coming.

Recruitment and Pay Transparency: Once the relevant changes take effect (on a date to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor):

The legislation will require publicly advertised job postings to include information about the expected compensation or range of expected compensation for the position (unless the posting meets criteria that may be prescribed). This is commonly known as “pay transparency”.

Job postings will need to include a statement disclosing the use of artificial intelligence (AI) if AI is used to screen, assess, or select applicants (unless the posting meets criteria that may be prescribed).

Job postings will need to be retained for 3 years after access to the general public has been removed (associated application forms must be similarly retained).

Once the relevant changes take effect, the Act will prohibit publicly advertised job postings and any associated application form from including any requirements related to Canadian experience (unless the posting meets criteria that may be prescribed).

What should you do?

Review your job posting processes and your templates now. Be ready to include the expected compensation or compensation range. Consider the impact that posting such information may have on your existing employees. What effect will greater transparency have on your employees? Do some pay disparities exist? How long do you retain job postings? Do you use AI as outlined above? If so, review your current practices to be sure that your organization will be compliant.

Restaurant and Service Workers: Training Periods and Withholding Wages: As of March 21, 2024, legislation bans trial shifts being unpaid and employee wages cannot be withheld or reduced where a customer of a restaurant, gas station, or other establishment leaves without paying.

Tips and Gratuities: As of June 21, 2024, the legislation will include a requirement related to the posting and retention of a tip policy where the employer, or a director or shareholder of the employer, shares in tips or gratuities.

And one other thing…

Vacation Pay: In force as of June 21, 2024: Ontario employers will be required to have employees sign an agreement to allow for “alternate pay arrangements”. This is to ensure employees are aware that their written agreement is required if vacation pay is paid in any way other than a lump sum before their vacation. You may need to review and update your employment agreement and policies.

Review your practices now to ensure compliance.

Please get in touch to discuss how we can help you.

Social Media Policies in Organizations

We hear from employers who are struggling with their employee’s use (and misuse) of social media platforms.  This can be challenging for companies and those responsible for human resources and employee relations.   When one employee harasses another using social media and every employee can see it, what can be done?  When an employee does something that criticizes or embarrasses the company, how do you manage?

Sometimes even the strictest of policies don’t help stop an employee who makes the decision to use social media irresponsibly, but nevertheless it is critical that a social media policy be in place to deal with it and help teach all employees what is acceptable.  If you don’t have a policy, we can help create one for your employee handbook, and assist with the unfortunate situations where the policy needs to be referenced.


Selflessness In Leaders

I spend a lot of time with leaders who work in what they describe as chaotic conditions, coined by some as the “permacrisis” of our modern economy and life.  As we set out to make 2024 a great year for OutPerform HR clients, this is a key area of focus – how to help leaders deal with everything that comes at them and still excel and grow.  The attached Korn Ferry article is worth a read.  My favourite line in here is:

When we think of what “leadership” means in 2024, we are more and more likely to define it not only by what gets done, but also by how a person shows up in the world.

Leaders – have you figured out how you can show up more effectively given all of the chaos around you?

Leadership During a ‘Permacrisis’
With so many global challenges occurring simultaneously, bosses need to lead differently, says best-selling author Dan Goleman.