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Ontario’s Bill 149 – the Working for Workers Four Act, 2024 – has received Royal Assent

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March 25, 2024
By Talent Canada

(Adobe Stock)

Ontario’s Working for Workers Four Act, 2024, has received Royal Assent.

“By putting workers first, we are filling the labour shortage, incentivizing employers to create more local jobs and helping more workers land a better job with a bigger paycheque,” said David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “With our fourth Working for Workers Act, we continue to lead the country in ground-breaking protections for workers.”

Key changes

The legislation contains a number of key provisions, including:

  • Improving cancer coverage for firefighters and fire investigators by lowering the employment period needed to receive compensation when diagnosed with esophageal cancer from 25 to 15 years.
  • Strengthening wage protections for restaurant, hospitality and service workers by clarifying that employers can never deduct an employee’s wages in the event of a dine and dash, gas and dash or any other stolen property and providing that trial shifts are paid. Further, our government is requiring employers to post in the workplace if they are sharing in pooled tips – something that is only allowed if they perform the same work as their staff – and requiring employers who pay tips using direct deposit to allow their employees to select which account they want funds deposited.
  • Banning the use of Canadian experience as a requirement in job postings or application forms – the first province in Canada – to enable qualified workers to fill highly in-demand jobs, especially in health care. This change would help more qualified candidates progress in the interview process and follows historic legislation to prohibit regulated professions from requiring discriminatory Canadian work experience requirements in licensing for more than 30 occupations, which came into effect December 2023.
  • Making it easier for international students in Ontario to qualify for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).
  • Helping workers make informed decisions in their career search by requiring employers to disclose salary ranges in job postings and if artificial intelligence (AI) is used during the hiring process.
  • Improving oversight and accountability of how regulated professions use third-party organizations to assess international qualifications to ensure it is done transparently and fairly.
  • Clarifying vacation pay provisions 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.
  • Supporting injured workers by enabling additional “super indexing” increases to Workplace Safety and Insurance Board benefits above the annual rate of inflation.

Province planning consultations

“To complement our new legislation, we are also launching consultations to identify legislative options to restrict the use of Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) in the settlement of cases of workplace sexual harassment, misconduct or violence, while protecting the rights of victims and survivors,” said Piccini.


“We will also consult on options to create a new, job-protected leave for critical illnesses (like cancer) to match the length of the 26-week federal Employment Insurance sickness benefits,” he said.

These changes expand on the measures in the previous Working for Workers Acts —  passed in 20212022 and 2023, “which are helping millions of people in Ontario earn bigger paycheques and supporting newcomers in building the province,” he said.

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