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What’s Changing In The Law In 2024

As we enter a new year, there are several new changes coming to the legal forefront in 2024. Both provincial and federal laws are set to change in multiple areas, and we wanted to provide a brief overview of some of the highlights that may impact your day-to-day work and living. 

Employment Law-Provincial changes

Provincially, there are changes coming under the Employment Standards Act, 2000, the law which governs private, non-unionized employers and employees in Ontario. One of the major changes involves temporary help agencies and recruiters, which have been a priority of the provincial government for several months now.

The regulations that govern temporary help agencies had once been piecemeal, however the government is bringing them under additional regulations under employment standards law. Now, both agencies and recruiters will be required to hold licenses and will not be allowed to carry on business without a license. There will be fees for operating without a license ranging between $15,000 for a first offence and $50,000 for a third offence, and those who knowingly use unlicensed recruiters may be penalized as well.

This last point is crucial for employers who regularly work with recruiters or staffing agencies. While most of these businesses are run by professionals who operate ethically and in good conscience, some do not. Those individuals will often attempt to offer employers discounted search and hiring services while unfairly charging candidates or vulnerable job seekers for their services. 

Employment Law – Federal changes

For federally regulated employers, there are significant changes coming to the Canada Labour Code (‘CLC’). The CLC governs those in industries that extend beyond provincial borders, such as banking, airlines, and telecommunications. In many ways its principles are similar to the provincialemployment standards laws, however their allowances for employees who have been terminated without cause are significantly lower than Ontario’s.

That will now change. As of February 1, 2024, the CLC is being revised to implement a graduated system for pay in lieu of notice not dissimilar to Ontario’s. Just like in Ontario, employees who are let go with less than 3 months of service will not be eligible for any pay. However, between 3 months’ and 3 years’ service must now be paid at least 2 weeks’ pay in lieu of notice, and the notice increases year after year to a maximum of 8 weeks’ pay. 

This does not change the CLC’s requirement to pay employees their statutory severance pay (different from termination pay), which offers terminated employees additional money so long as they have not been terminated with cause. 

There is also a relatively new requirement since this past Fall under the CLC that employers must provide their employees with a written employment statement. Similar to an employment contract, it contains key details of employment such as the date employment commences, the job duties, the hours of work, wages or salary, pay periods, overtime, rules, and how employees can claim their expenses.

International Law

In an interesting change, Canada is about to become part of the Apostille Convention, or the Hague Convention on foreign documents. This will allow for certain designated authorities to verify the legal status of Canadian legal documents for use around the world. 

Now, Canadian citizens and businesses will be able to submit official documents for what is called an ‘apostille,’ which is a one-step certificate that replaces the current authentication and legalization procedure in place. After January 11, 2024, if you require your official documents to be recognized by any of the 124 member nations of the convention, you can obtain an apostille to have it internationally recognized.

Apostilles may be hard to come by unless the program expands but can be obtained by the Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery in Toronto, or from Global Affairs in Ottawa. A certified translation must also be provided if a document is written in a language other than English or French, unless a Notary can certify that they speak the other language and that a translation provided is accurate. 

Other Changes

There are also further changes coming in other areas that may have an impact as well. The regulations on automobile insurance within the Insurance Act are also changing as of January 1st. The rules around car insurance are changing to allow drivers to opt out of direct compensation property damage coverage, making insurance cheaper for some. However, removing this coverage would mean that drivers are liable for repair or replacement costs of a vehicle. 

More good news for drivers – there are new regulations coming for those who find themselves in trouble and need a tow truck. While many municipalities across the province have had their own regulations on towing, that is now being overhauled for one provincial regulation and a standardized fee to operate a truck. The aim is to bring more certainty to drivers in terms of rates, invoicing, and other interactions with tow truck drivers.

Final Thoughts

These changes are only a glimpse of things to come, and only some of the ones that we can predict. New court decisions always mean new changes in the law in all areas, and new requirements that Ontarians will need to follow. 

Of course, the team at Pavey Law is here to help. Our lawyers’ expertise runs the gamut from family to employment, construction to real estate, civil litigation to wills and estates and beyond. When you have a legal issue, we’re here to be your first phone call. Contact our office today to set up an appointment.