Did you know that Bill 18 makes clients liable for claims to temporary workers
Did you know that Bill 18 can make clients liable for claims to temporary workers?
Bill 18, which is already in effect, has made many important changes to create stronger workplaces in Ontario. Following are the two key changes relevant to Ontario workplaces from the occupational health and safety point of view:
Sharing of liability between temporary agencies and clients for certain wages and workplace injuries
As per the provisions of Bill 18, the temporary agencies and its clients will share the liability for certain wages and workplace injuries. This is a very pleasant change for the temporary help industry of Ontario, and a much needed one as well. The new law creates a joint liability for the clients (companies) and temporary worker agencies. This liability would result from the regular wages and overtime pay that temporary workers supplied by the agency earn. This will cover each pay period for which the agency supplied temporary workers to its clients (companies).
A major change introduced by Bill 18
A major change introduced by Bill 18 is an injury to a temporary worker working for a client. As per Bill 18, the client will face the full cost of the resulting compensation claim. The law places a reporting obligation on the client and the agency under the WSIA. Further, the client needs to notify the WSIB about the injury. Further, they need to do it within three days of learning about the injury to the temporary worker.
Bill 18 requires temporary help agency and its client to record the hours each temporary worker will work for. They will have to do this on a daily and weekly basis. Further, law requires a temporary help agency to ensure ready availability of the temporary workers’ records for workplace inspection. Thus, even if they appoint a third-party for maintaining and/or retaining the records, this rule will still apply.
The client has to make arrangements for retaining the daily and weekly work records of temporary workers. They need to do this either by themselves or through help from a third-party. Moreover, the client will also have to keep the temporary workers records readily available for workplace inspections. Even if a third-party has been appointed for maintaining and/or retaining the records, the rule will still apply.
Bill 18 has expanded the definition of ‘worker’ in the OHSA to include many classes of unpaid workers
In another landmark move, Bill 18 made a significant amendment to the Occupational Health and Safety Act with regards to the definition of a ‘worker’. The definition of ‘worker’ is now expanded and includes many different classes of unpaid employees as mentioned below:
- Those performing work or supply services for monetary compensation
- College, university, or secondary students working through authorized work experience programs, even if they do not receive monetary compensation
- Apprentices or trainees who meet the conditions laid down in ESA section 1(2)
The key change brought in by the law includes the fact that all the workers mentioned above would have the same duties, rights, and obligations as that of the paid workers. This will include the right to stop work where there is a danger to health and safety.
Key impact of Bill 18 on the Ontario organizations
Organizations that use the services of subcontractors to perform different business activities come straight under the purview of the law. Subcontractors will be technically considered temporary workers deployed on a project by the organization that appoints them. Therefore, the provisions for temporary workers will become applicable to subcontractors working at client sites.
Given the sweeping changes made by Bill 18, it’s time for managing the OHS records of your subcontractors. There are many ways to create and manage the OHS records of subcontractors. However, the best ones are those that make creation and management of OHS data easy, efficient, and reliable.
Can an online subcontractor OHS management system help?
4SafeCom™ Subcontractor Management System is a live information-sharing platform, which a company can use manage subcontractors’ OHS documents in an easy, efficient, and reliable manner.
Following are some of the vital features of the system that can help companies maintain and manage the subcontractors’ OHS records, as required by law:
Review and acknowledgement of policies
The System helps companies to request their subcontractors to review and acknowledge their company policies and procedures. This goes a long way in ensuring higher levels of procedural and policy awareness, which improves workplace safety.
Monitor training records while getting regularly notified about records that have expired or are about to expire
4SafeCom™ Subcontractor Management System helps companies in reviewing the training records of all their subcontractors before they enter the company site. The System sends timely notifications to the company if a subcontractor’s records are about to expire or have expired. Further, the System sends alerts when vital OHS documents such as WSIB clearance certificate, workers’ compensation documents, and general liability insurance are about to expire or have expired.
Companies can get their subcontractors to perform site-specific orientation using the System, which can be customized. Companies will benefit largely from getting their subcontractors to do the orientation before commencing work on the site.
Easy and efficient management of OHS documents
Simple dashboards coupled with a user-friendly interface make it easier and comfortable for all the subcontractors’ site workers and site supervisors of the company to manage the OHS documents using their mobile phones or tablets. The System makes it easier for both the subcontractors as well as the company to make the data readily available for workplace inspections, which is a major requirement as per Bill 18. Further, the System also makes it easier to navigate through the subcontractors’ OHS records during workplace inspections.