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Questions about the Joint Liability

What exactly does the Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act do?

Section 4 of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) allows separate persons to be treated as one employer. The act has amended section 4(1) of the ESA to remove the “intent and effect” requirement. The act also adds an exception to section 4. Section 4(4.1) was added to the ESA to state that the section 4 provisions do not apply to the Crown.

Section 4 of the Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act, 2009 (EPFNA) also allows separate persons to be treated as one employer. The Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act has also amended section 4(1) of the Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act, 2009 to remove the “intent and effect” requirement.

What exactly does this change mean and why is it significant?

The Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act removes the requirement that the “intent or effect” of the arrangement as described in s. 4(1) must be to defeat, either directly or indirectly, the purpose of the ESA when determining whether related businesses can be treated as one employer and held jointly and severally liable.

Now, the only requirement is to find that associated or related activities or businesses are or were carried on by or through an employer and one or more other persons.

The change and meaning are the same for EPFNA.

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