Bill 88, also known as the Working for Workers Act of 2022, was enacted into law in Ontario on April 11, 2022. Bill 88 amends many employment-related statutes, in addition to introducing a new piece of legislation, the Digital Platform Workers’ Rights Act, 2022. This blog is to inform you about the new changes that Bill 88 is driving in our industry. This is a huge transition point for businesses in Ontario, Canada.
Huge Change in the Contractor Market
It is important to note that this Act brings forth a huge change in the contractor market. If you are a contractor with rates below $60/hour, you are subject to ESA and most agencies will on hire you as a part-time employee, not as a contractor. This effectively means that low-end contractors (below $60/hour) will likely be transitioned to a part-time employee. This accounts for about 15% of the IT contractor market. Not sure how it applies to you? Click here to book a FREE consultation with our experts to discuss this further.
How can we help?
Here at CPA4IT, we have developed and curated specialized content to educate contractors and their teams regarding the new changes that have come along in response to this bill. We understand the needs of our customers and we understand that sole proprietors tend to become cost sensitive during these transition phases. Therefore, we have also launched a new program in which we offer FREE incorporation to everyone who avails our services for one year. If you are not sure about whether or not you should incorporate your business, make sure to book a FREE consultation with our experts to discuss your situation by clicking here.
A great small business tax accountant does more than just measure value, they create it. At CPA4IT our goal is to save you substantially more than it costs you for our services. Over the last 30 years we have developed tax strategies designed to help you keep more of your hard earned money. As a family-owned business, we take pride in helping small businesses grow. We help our clients manage their finances, and transform their wealth to a legacy.
Overview of Bill 88
There are wide-ranging effects of Bill 88 on contractors. According to this Bill, employers with over 25 staff members need to assess their electronic monitoring procedures. They also need to develop a written policy that complies with the new ESA criteria. Businesses that fall under the definition of “digital platform operators” as defined by the Digital Platform Workers Rights Act should review their payment, record-keeping, and other procedures to make sure they are in line with the requirements of the new Act.
New Exemptions in the Employment Standards:
According to Bill 88, there is now an exemption for some business consultants and IT consultants in the Employment Standards Act (ESA). This includes requirements for working hours, overtime, and termination pay and severance pay. The new law will go into effect on January 1, 2023.
Creating an electronic monitoring policy is necessary:
By October 11, 2022, employers with 25 or more workers as of January 1 must create and enforce a documented electronic monitoring policy and make copies of it accessible to each of their workers. The policy should state whether the employer electronically tracks its employees and, if so, (i) details regarding the method used, and the conditions under which the employer may do so, and (ii) the reason for which the employer might use the information gained through electronic monitoring. The date the policy was created, any changes made to it, and any other information that may be required by regulation must all be included.
Digital Platform Workers Rights Act, 2022
With the passage of Bill 88, the Digital Platform Workers Rights Act, 2022—which defines digital platform work as the providing of payment for ride-sharing, delivery, courier, or other authorized service using a digital platform—becomes law. This outlines basic requirements and rights for individuals who work on digital platforms and are frequently referred to as “gig workers.” A comprehensive set of worker safeguards and requirements are provided by the DPWRA for operators of digital platforms.
The new Act establishes, among other things, the following worker rights and obligations:
- Right to information: Operators of digital platforms are required to notify employees of information such as pay periods, performance evaluations, job assignments, tip and gratuity policies, and how pay is computed.
- Right to notice of removal: Employees have the right be informed of the grounds on which they are being excluded from a platform. If access is restricted for longer than 24 hours, workers must also be given two weeks’ written notice.
- Right to a regular pay period and pay day, the minimum wage for each job a worker completes, the money they earn, as well as tips and other gratuities.
- Additionally, the Act specifies requirements for platform operators’ record-keeping, director liability rules, and comprehensive complaints and compliance guidelines.
Safety and Health:
There has been a modification in the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to (i) make it mandatory for employers to provide naloxone kits once they become aware of a possibility that a worker could overdose on an opioid at work; (ii) raise the maximum financial penalties under the OHSA to $1,500,000 for directors and officers and $500,000 for other people; and (iii) extend the statute of limitations for prosecutions to two years.
Increased reservist leaves:
Reservist leave under the ESA has also been extended with the passing of Bill 88. In addition to the previously listed qualifying circumstances, Ontario employees are now entitled to a job-protected unpaid leave of absence if they are unable to work due to their participation in military skills training by the Canadian Armed Forces.
Additionally, Bill 88 lowered the amount of service needed to qualify for Reserve leave. Reservist leave under the ESA is now only available to employees who have worked for a minimum of three (3) months (as opposed to six (6) months in the past).
New application deadlines for some regulated professions:
The Fair Access to Regulation Professions and Compulsory Trades Act, 2006, has been amended to create new deadlines for responding to applications from individuals already registered with a comparable out-of-province authority for registration by a regulated profession in Ontario.
Adapting to these new changes can become quite tricky. If you want to know more about how the above-mentioned changes will impact your company or need assistance to comply, CPA4IT is the right partner for you. This applies to contractors earning under $60/hour, who will be classified as part time employees by agencies now.
We have over 3 decades of experience in the small business industry. We will help you modify all the important aspects of your finances, such as accounting, bookkeeping, and business coaching in accordance to Bill 88.
If you want to compare the differences between contract vs permanent job, feel free to use our calculator.
Click here to book a FREE consultation with one of our experts in case of further queries.