Stay up-to-date with provincial and federal legislative changes that may impact your workplace OHS program.
Private Member’s Bill 227 – The Workplace Safety and Health Amendment Act (Access to Washrooms for Delivery Persons) – was introduced in the Manitoba legislature in March 2023. The Bill added provisions to the Workplace Safety and Health Act that came into force on May 30, 2023 as a new section 45.3 of the Act.
Under the new requirements, owners of a workplace must provide access to washroom facilities to a delivery person attending the workplace for the purposes of collecting or making a delivery. The mandated access is not required if:
- the owner can demonstrate that access would pose a risk to the safety or health of any person in the workplace;
- the owner can demonstrate that the measures required to provide access would cause undue hardship due to the activities in the workplace, the security requirements, and the layout of the workplace; or,
- the washroom is only accessible via a dwelling.
Effective May 28, 2021
Public health orders require businesses to report cases of COVID-19 in their workplace to the chief provincial public health officer. Operators of a business or facility are required to notify public health officials if two or more people who work for the organization have COVID-19 and work at the same location. This notification process will support public health with an early notification of potential workplace clusters. Public health officials will work with workplaces to assess potential risk and advise if any additional measures are required.
Current as of: May 20, 2021
- The position of the Chief Prevention Officer role is eliminated;
- A “discriminatory action” is now referred to as a “reprisal”;
- Six-Month Time Limit for Discriminatory Action (now called Reprisal) Investigations – A reprisal complaint or referral must now be made to a safety and health officer within six months after the date of the alleged reprisal;
- No appeal of frivolous or vexatious complaints – An appeal of a decision made by a safety and health officer may be dismissed by the director of Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) if the appeal is deemed frivolous or vexatious, or, in the case of a reprisal, if it was not referred to an officer within six months. Note: All decisions of a safety and health officer can still be appealed to the director of WSH, including work refusals. However, if the case is deemed frivolous or vexatious by the director, the director’s appeal decision is final and cannot be appealed further to the Manitoba Labour Board;
- Increase to Maximum Prosecution Fines – Maximum prosecution fines for offences under the Act are increased from $250,000 for a first offence to $500,000, and from $500,000 for a second or subsequent offence to $1,000,000; and
- Collections for Education Fund – The WSH Branch will now be able to collect the additional amounts when courts order an offender to pay an additional amount for the purpose of educating the public on workplace safety and health.
See The Workplace Safety and Health Act, c. W210
Effective Date: December 18, 2020
On December 18, 2020, the Manitoba government amended the Apprenticeship and Certification – General Regulation, Manitoba Regulation 156/2020. The following details the changes that have been made to the regulation and are in effective beginning December 18, 2020
Apprentices who are in their final level of training, in trades with at least three levels, will be considered to be directly supervised when the following conditions are met:
- The apprentice has access to a journeyperson by telephone at all times while performing a task;
- The journeyperson provides the apprentice with the technical information, knowledge, and guidance necessary for the apprentice to work and develop skills in the trade to a standard of competence expected of a journeyperson in the trade; and
- The extent of supervision by the journeyperson is proportionate to the degree of risk while the apprentice is performing a task.
Ratios of Apprentices to Journeypersons
The minimum ratio of apprentices to journeypersons is expanded from 1:1 to 2:1 for all trades. Furthermore, an apprentice who has progressed to the final level of an apprenticeship program will not be included in calculating a ratio if the designated trade has at least three levels in the apprenticeship program.
Employers continue to be responsible for ensuring that safe work conditions are met for all their employees, at all times. If there is a concern that apprentice safety is at risk, employers can make the decision to have more journeypersons on the jobsite to ensure that tasks are completed in a safe manner. The Workplace Safety and Health Act continues to enforce the safe work practices of Manitobans.
Announced: March 11, 2019
The Workplace Safety and Health Amendment Act is being amended to strengthen penalties for serious workplace infractions, Finance Minister Scott Fielding announced.
These amendments would ensure Manitoba remains a safe and healthy place to work, as well as a competitive and attractive place to do business. Also, to ensure that workplaces are safe for workers, as safety is a priority for the government.
The bill would strengthen deterrents for the most serious contraventions and would better align Manitoba with other jurisdictions. First offence maximum penalties would increase under the act to $500,000 from $250,000 and to $1,000,000 from $500,000 for a second or subsequent offence.
The amendment would improve mechanisms for collecting penalties levied by the courts for purposes of educating the public on workplace injury and illness prevention. The proposed bill introduces new provisions that would prevent frivolous or vexatious appeals from being forwarded to the Manitoba Labour Board.
The changes proposed in The Workplace Safety and Health Amendment Act stem from the legislated five-year review of the act.
Workplace Safety and Health Committee Minutes
Workplace Safety and Health Committee Minutes will no longer be required to be sent to the Workplace Safety and Health Branch based on current amendments to the Regulation.
Subsection 3.7(2) of the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation previously stated that “An employer or prime contractor must, within seven days of receiving a copy of the minutes of a committee meeting, ensure that a copy is sent to the branch and to each committee member.”
It has now been amended to “An employer or prime contractor must, within seven days of receiving a copy of the minutes of a committee meeting, ensure that a copy is sent to each committee member.
Provincial Workplace Safety & Health Regulations amendment 128/2019
Effective October 1, 2019
On October 1, 2019, the Manitoba government introduced changes to Part 15 of the regulations by adding “Hazardous Confined Space”. The application of Part 15 now applies to every workplace where a worker works in a confined space or a hazardous confined space.
A hazardous confined space” means a confined space that is or may become hazardous to a worker who enters or is in the space due to:
(a) the design, construction, or atmosphere of the space;
(b) materials or substances in the space;
(c) the work activities or processes in the space; or
(d) any other conditions within or related to the space.
An addition of Section 2.19 Alcohol and drug consumption will be noticed after Section 2.18 of the Regulations which states the duties of the employer in relation to drug and alcohol consumption. Several definitions and Standards have also been repealed or amended.
As of December 15, 2023, federally regulated employers will be required to make menstrual products available to workers at no cost while they are in the workplace. That means putting pads and tampons in washrooms (or another space controlled by the employer) so that any worker who needs them while on the job has access.
The final Regulations, which are now available in Part II of the Canada Gazette, were developed following extensive consultations with stakeholders, experts and Canadians. Because they apply to a wide variety of federally regulated private and public sector workplaces, the Regulations provide employers with flexibility in how they implement these changes in their workplace.
Effective January 1, 2021
The anti-harassment and violence in the workplace legislation (Bill C-65) and the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations strengthen the health and safety of workers in federally regulated workplaces by putting in place a regime that takes all forms of harassment and violence into consideration. They apply to the federally regulated private sector, federal public service, and Parliament.
Among other obligations, Bill C-65 provides that employers:
- PREVENT incidents of harassment and violence.
- RESPOND effectively to these incidents if and when they do occur.
- SUPPORT affected employees.
- INVESTIGATE, RECORD, and REPORT all hazardous occurrences.
As of January 01, 2021, federally regulated employers are required to:
- Understand the definition of workplace harassment and violence.
- Develop a workplace harassment and violence prevention policy with the policy committee, the workplace health and safety committee or health and safety representative.
- Assess the risk of workplace harassment and violence.
Effective January 1, 2021
The new Part IV of the Code, which comes into force on January 1, 2021, establishes an Administrative Monetary Penalties System that penalizes employers who do not comply with the Code’s health and safety or labour standards. Once the new Part IV is in force, employers who do not comply with the Code’s occupational health and safety or labour standards provisions could face a monetary penalty of up to $250,000.
Monetary penalties will be calculated based on the type of violation, the size of business and any previous monetary penalties for violations of same or higher classification. Employers are now prohibited from misclassifying employees in order to avoid their obligations under the Canada Labour Code. Any employer who misclassifies an employee is in contravention of the Code. They may be subject to enforcement action by the Labour Program, up to and including an administrative monetary penalty or prosecution.
Effective September 1, 2020
In federally regulated workplaces, interns are now entitled to full labour standards protections, including the right to be paid at least the minimum wage. Student interns who are fulfilling the requirements of an educational program may be unpaid and are entitled to certain labour standards protections, such as:
- Standard hours of work
- 30-minute breaks, and
- General holidays
Consult Federal labour standards for interns and student interns and Federally regulated employer obligations towards interns and student interns for more information.
Effective July 10, 2019
Legislative and regulatory changes have been made for occupational health and safety.
- Protection equipment and other preventive measures
Standards have changed on the use of protection equipment and other preventive measures of the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. Safety equipment and practices are now up to industry standards for federally regulated employees.
Wage Earner Protection Program (WEPP)
- The Wage Earner Protection Program (WEPP) is a Government of Canada program that provides timely payment of eligible wages owing to workers whose employer has gone bankrupt or become subject to receivership. Eligible wages under the Program include salaries, commissions, vacation, termination and severance pay.
- More information
Pay equity (Effective August 31, 2021)
- Pay equity measures will direct employers to take proactive steps to ensure that they are providing equal pay for work of equal value. These measures will apply to federally regulated workplaces, including federal public and private sectors.
- More information
Pay transparency (effective January 1, 2021)
- The Regulations amending the Employment Equity Regulations support the introduction of new pay transparency measures in federally regulated private-sector workplaces. These measures aim to address wage gaps experienced by:
- Indigenous peoples
- Persons with disabilities
- Members of visible minorities
- More information