Helping to Raise Awareness of Workplace Rights and Responsibilities
Ontario is supporting workers and businesses by investing in educational and training initiatives that will help them understand their workplace rights and responsibilities.
Starting today, non-profit organizations can apply for the Employment Standards Training and Education Program (ESTEP) for 2018-19. The program helps non-profit organizations educate vulnerable workers and small- and mid-sized businesses on their rights and responsibilities in the workplace.
For 2017-18, Ontario chose four initiatives that focused on:
- Engaging franchisor and franchisee businesses across Ontario to help make it easier for them to understand employment laws
- An interactive program designed to educate youth, immigrants and small- and mid-sized businesses on their rights and responsibilities
- Raising awareness of employer obligations within the hospitality and tourism industry
- Focusing on community outreach and educating vulnerable workers on their rights, while training the frontline workers who support them
Protecting workers and supporting businesses across the province is part of the government’s plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.
- Ontario will invest $1 million in the 2018-19 Employment Standards Training and Education Program.
- In 2017-2018, Ontario awarded a total of $508,000 to four projects.
- Ontario passed the landmark Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 in November. The broad-ranging act raised the minimum wage, ensured more fairness for part-time and temporary help workers, and expanded personal emergency leave. The minimum wage increased to $14 an hour on January 1, 2018, and will increase to $15 an hour on January 1, 2019.
- The province is also enhancing workplace enforcement, penalties and education to ensure all new worker rights under its plan for Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs are followed.
“Ontario workers deserve to be treated fairly at work. That’s why it’s important for everyone to know their workplace rights and responsibilities. These initiatives will help ensure that the most vulnerable among us are protected, while providing businesses with the information they need as they pursue a fair path to prosperity.”