In Ontario, Employment Standards Officers (ESOs) are tasked with conducting inspections to ensure compliance with the Employment Standards Act (ESA).
If you have ever been the subject of an inspection you may know that during a typical inspection, ESOs attend the business in question, sometimes on a few days’ notice, and often during peak business hours. The ESOs question the employer and request documentation from the employer regarding their compliance with the ESA (including payroll information showing that employees are being paid properly).
Starting on March 27, 2019, the Ministry of Labour announced a new “digital, self-audit tool” intended to replace slow and cumbersome paper audits and which will make it easier for businesses to comply with the Act.
According to a press release by the Ministry, the digital audit will look like this: the Ministry of Labour will send an employer a link to an online portal where the employer can enter payroll information, submit their audit results and confirm compliance.
This digital evaluation is touted by the Ministry as “a win-win-win for workers, businesses and government” because:
- The digital self-audit tool will get unpaid wages into the hands of workers faster and without the necessity of a claim.
- The digital self-audit tool saves time and money for Ontario’s job creators.
- The shift to digital enforcement supports the government’s commitment to a modern, efficient government and allows the Ministry of Labour to focus enforcement on the real offenders.
If you are the subject of an ESA inspection or require advice about how to become/stay ESA compliant, feel free to contact us.