Recent Legislative Updates - Bill 190, Working for Wokers Five Act

**Written by Zura Nakiwoga, Lee Workplace Law Articling Student

The landscape of employment law in Canada is perpetually evolving. We recently wrote about the passing of the Working for Workers Four Act on March 21, 2024. See more here. Within weeks, the Ontario government announced further developments, with the introduction of Bill 190, the Working for Workers Five Act (Bill 190).

Introduced on May 6, 2024, Bill 190 proposes significant amendments to a variety of employment-related statutes in Ontario. These changes are designed to adapt to the evolving nature of work environments, enhance protections for workers, and ensure that employment practices are transparent and fair.

Below we have provided an overview of the key amendments proposed by Bill 190.

Key Proposed Amendments Under Bill 190

Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA):

  • Job Posting Disclosures: Employers will need to disclose whether a job posting is for an existing vacancy.
  • Follow-ups with Interviewees: Employers will need to respond to candidates they interviewed within a to-be-prescribed amount of time. It remains to be seen exactly what information employers will need to provide to these candidates.
  • Sick Leave Policy Changes: Bill 190 proposes to prohibit the requirement for doctor's notes for employees to take sick leave under the ESA. Currently, sick leave under the ESA is capped at 3 unpaid days per calendar year.
  • Maximum Fines Increase: Bill 190 would also increase the maximum fines for violations of the ESA from $50,000 to $100,000, underscoring the importance of adherence to these standards.

Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA):

  • Telework and Private Residences: The OHSA will extend to private residences where telework is performed, reflecting the shift towards remote work and potentially imposing new obligations on employers to ensure their employees are working from safe home office spaces.
  • Virtual Harassment: The definition of workplace harassment will expand to include virtual harassment, addressing issues related to remote work communications.
  • Electronic Posting of Information: Employers will be allowed to electronically post OHSA information, provided that workers are adequately informed, facilitating easier access to important safety information.
  • Remote Meetings for Safety Committees: Bill 190 will permit joint health and safety committee meetings to occur remotely, offering flexibility in maintaining safety standards without requiring in-person gatherings.
  • Washroom Cleanliness: Employers are tasked with maintaining cleanliness of any workplace washroom facilities, emphasizing hygiene and worker welfare.

Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA):

  • Extended Coverage for PTSD and Skin Cancer: Bill 190 proposes to extend presumptive coverage for PTSD to wildland firefighters and investigators, acknowledging the stressful nature of these roles. Additionally, it includes presumptive coverage for skin cancer for workers with at least 10 years of service before diagnosis, recognizing the long-term risks associated to firefighters, fire investigators and volunteers.

Fair Access to Regulated Professions and Compulsory Trades Act, 2006:

  • Qualification Documentation Alternatives: Bill 190 would require regulated professions to develop standards for fair assessment of qualifications and consider alternatives to traditional documentation, enhancing accessibility for diverse applicants.
  • Concurrent Registration Processes: Bill 190 would require professions to have a plan to enable multiple registration processes to occur concurrently, streamlining the accreditation process and reducing waiting times.

Ontario Immigration Act:

  • Delegation of Review Powers: New provisions would allow for the delegation of powers or duties for internal reviews of decisions or orders, aiming to simplify administrative processes and improve efficiency.

Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act, 2021:

  • Alternative Criteria for Apprenticeships: Bill 190 prescribes alternative criteria in lieu of traditional academic criteria for apprenticeship training agreements, widening access to trades education and reflecting the varied backgrounds of potential apprentices.


As Canadian employment laws continue to evolve, both employers and employees must remain informed and proactive in navigating these changes. Employers and employees alike would do well to stay tuned for further developments as we await the potential passage of the new Bill 190, Working for Workers Five Act. Engaging with these changes not only ensures legal compliance but also fosters a culture of inclusivity and fairness in the evolving world of work.