TORONTO, Ont. — As of Jan. 1 employers must obtain written agreement from employees as well as a Ministerial permit to allow employees to work more than 48 hours/week.
The new requirement is the result of recent changes to the Employment Standards Act. The new rules overturn changes made by the previous government in 2000.
The amendments also contain provisions for overtime averaging but there are no changes to overtime thresholds. Ontario’s Labour Ministry is aiming for proclamation in January 2005. The amendments mean employers will be able to apply for permits as of Oct. 1, 2004. The Ministry hopes to have an on-line application form available at that time. Ministry sources also indicated that a draft employee agreement form could also be available at that time.
Truck drivers covered by Ontario law are also covered by this regulation, according to the Ministry, and employers will need to have the written agreement and Ministerial permit if drivers are to work more than 48 hours per week. The Ministry has also stated its desire to harmonize Ontario’s rules with the revised federal hours of service standard, expected later this year.
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