Ministry overview

Ministry’s vision

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) leads Ontario’s effort to be the best jurisdiction in North America to recruit, train, retain, protect and reward workers for the jobs of today and tomorrow. The work of MLTSD creates dynamic labour markets, safe workplaces, and fair and competitive labour and employment regulations.

Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development supports a number of key government priorities for growing Ontario’s economy, such as:

  • Establishing a competitive economy that creates good jobs and attracts investments
  • Keeping Ontario workers safe
  • Ensuring fair and stable workplaces that increase productivity
  • Ensuring employment and training sectors are efficient and aligned with Ontario’s labour market needs
  • Making Ontario’s skilled trades and apprenticeship system more client-focused, flexible, and accessible; and
  • Transforming and integrating Ontario’s employment services to help job seekers, including those on social assistance, to find and keep good jobs

As such, Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development plays a critical role in Ontario’s economic recovery and getting people safely back to work after the COVID‑19 outbreak. The ministry’s response to the pandemic will continue to focus on enhancing and reprioritizing existing programs and ensuring it is able to respond to the changing demands of Ontario’s unprecedented situation.

Ministry programs

Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development contributes to government priorities through the delivery of public services in four primary areas of responsibility:

  • Employment Ontario
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Employment Standards
  • Labour Relations

The Employment ontario (EO) program aims to eliminate labour market and skills gaps and enhance employment opportunities for all Ontarians through the design and delivery of a range of policies and programs related to employment services, workforce development, talent retention, access to highly skilled workforce (including international talent), cost-effective apprenticeship and skills development training, and labour market research and planning.

The Occupational health and safety (OHS) program aims to reduce and prevent fatalities, illness, and injuries across Ontario workplaces. The OHS program delivers enforcement and prevention activities, in collaboration with system partners such as the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) and the Health and Safety Associations (HSAs). Through OHS activities, the ministry ensures business stability by creating safe and healthy workplaces, which contributes to the government’s efforts in attracting jobs and investment to Ontario.

The Employment standards (ES) program helps create fair workplaces, and a level playing field for employers, thereby reinforcing a competitive business environment that also attracts jobs and investment to Ontario.

The Labour relations (LR) program supports fair, harmonious, and stable workplaces and increases productivity by facilitating effective labour relations dispute resolution and by providing collective bargaining information, research, and analysis to bargaining parties.

COVID-19 response

In response to the COVID‑19 outbreak, Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development has reacted swiftly to support Ontario’s workers and businesses during the COVID‑19 crisis. Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development programs have been pivotal in supporting Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID‑19. In addition to shifting to digital and remote service delivery across multiple lines of business, MLTSD has implemented the following immediate measures.

The Occupational health and safety program has been a critical part of the government’s response to the pandemic. Ensuring that workers are protected in workplaces that remain operational during the outbreak has been a core priority for the ministry. The OHS Program has responded to a surge in demand for its services, including inquiries regarding worker protections for COVID‑19 and investigation of complaints related to workplace health and safety, and will continue to prioritize these services in 2020-21. To support health and safety compliance in workplaces, the program has also enhanced COVID‑19 related inspections in priority sectors and has provided enhanced information and awareness resources such as issuing health and safety guidance notes to support specific sectors. In response to the increased demand, the program has also doubled the capacity of Ontario's Health and Safety Call Centre from 25 to 50 phone lines.

Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) is working with partners across the OHS system to support Ontario workplaces. The ministry continues to work with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to allow employers to defer payments for six months, providing employers with $1.9 billion in financial relief. It has worked with Health and Safety Associations (HSAs) to deploy up to 30 specialists to support employers and workers in the field. The ministry is also working with the Ministry of Health, other ministries, employers, and stakeholders in providing regulatory and technical advice on occupational health and prevention of illness.

The Employment standards program has also been an essential part of the ministry’s response to COVID‑19. In March 2020, the government passed the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020 to provide job‐protected leave to employees in isolation or quarantine, or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or daycare closures due to the COVID‑19 outbreak.

The Employment standards program is refocusing employment standards enforcement resources to assist in the enforcement of Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) orders and to provide occupational health and safety compliance assistance in the construction and food sectors. It has redeployed more than 30 employment standards officers to help businesses understand and comply with health and safety requirements, and continues responding to inquiries and providing online resources regarding employee entitlements and employer obligations as they relate to COVID‑19, including on the new infectious disease emergency leave provisions.

Through the Labour Relations Program, the ministry has provided neutral, evidence-based, collective bargaining analytics and informed labour relations policy support to the government and other ministries on various matters relating to COVID‑19, including with respect to hospitals, long-term care homes, retirement homes, municipalities, developmental services, and other critical services (for example, fire, police, corrections). This includes emergency orders made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, non-regulatory government initiatives (for example, pandemic pay increase for front-line workers), and general advice on the continued provision of essential services.

To support the skilled trades system in Ontario, the Employment Ontario (EO program has supported the government in the passing of a regulation which extends the time apprentices can work in their trade without completing certification exams. This has allowed businesses to retain talent, apprentices to remain employed, and continues to help Ontario provide essential services in areas such as hospital facilities, housing, transportation, and working utilities. The EO Program has also worked with organizations responsible for apprenticeship in-class training to support the completion, rescheduling, and alternative delivery of the in-class programs that were disrupted by COVID‑19.

As the province begins to re-open its doors, the ministry’s focus will shift towards rebuilding Ontario’s economy and implementing further strategies. This includes dedicating $100 million in workforce development and training programs to support businesses and workers affected by the COVID‑19 outbreak. It also includes working with the federal government to ensure appropriate supports are in place for apprentices and training providers, while enabling businesses to continue to retain skilled trades workers.

Finally, to further support economic recovery, in 2020-21 Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSDs will be leading the Workforce Development and Training Review and Action Plan. The ministry will review how existing workforce development and training programs meet the evolving needs of Ontario’s jobseekers, workers, and industries. Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development will develop the plan in alignment with the Jobs and Recovery Committee and consultations with key sectors across the province. The outcome of this review will inform MLTSDs planning into the future and, potentially, further measures to specifically respond to COVID‑19.

2020-21 Strategic plan

Employment ontario

The government wants all Ontarians to have the skills they need to get a good job. The objective of Employment Ontario (EO) is to make sure job seekers can connect with opportunities to find and keep good jobs, employers can hire the skilled workers they need, and the province has the best possible employment services. Employment Ontario aims to achieve this by equipping more people with valuable skills through apprenticeships, transforming employment and training services to improve labour market outcomes for job seekers, and maximizing the benefits of skilled immigration to the economy.

Employment Ontario's major activities and areas of focus are comprised of the following:

  • Support of apprenticeship and the skilled trades which involve a combination of in-class and work-based training for people who want to work in a skilled trade. Apprenticeship opportunities help businesses harness new talent while equipping workers with the practical skills and qualifications that the economy needs now and in the future. To achieve its vision for a flexible, client-focused apprenticeship and skilled trades system, the ministry will continue to:
    • Reduce the regulatory burdens placed on businesses, apprentices and journeypersons
    • Close the skills gap by establishing programs that encourage the people of Ontario to enter the skilled trades, get retrained and become aware of the benefits of good-paying jobs in the trades
    • Review Ontario’s apprenticeship structure and enact reforms to increase access to apprenticeship opportunities
    • Seek industry input into apprenticeship training, skilled trades regulation, and certification through the Modernizing the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2019 (MSTAA), a new legislative framework for governing the skilled trades and apprenticeship in Ontario; and
    • Move to a ministry-led service delivery model once the wind-down of the Ontario College of Trades is complete

As part of this Skilled trades strategy, Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD is investing in skilled trades and apprenticeship programs that will encourage employers to come together to train apprentices, attract more young people and businesses into the skilled trades and target barriers to entry that cause low employer and youth participation and poor completion rates in the skilled trades. The ministry’s multi-faceted strategy includes:

  • Providing financial incentives to employers and reducing the red tape they often face in the hiring, training, completing, and supporting of apprentices
  • Supporting current and future apprentices with the purchase of tools and equipment required to pursue and complete training, and providing apprentices who are ineligible for Employment Insurance (EI) with the same level of financial support as others in their cohort
  • Providing financial support to organizations that deliver in-class training to respond to demand for classes and support apprentices in gaining the practical skills they need when they need them
  • Promoting apprenticeship and the skilled trades as high-profile and desirable first choice careers in elementary and secondary schools and increasing awareness about opportunities in skilled trades; and
  • Enhancing funding to service providers offering pre-apprenticeship training to individuals seeking a career in the skilled trades

Ontario’s employment and training system helps people find and keep full-time jobs. The EO system is composed of Ontario’s community-based network including employment service providers, literacy providers, public colleges, direct delivery apprenticeship offices, and training delivery agents. The ministry is committed to ongoing improvement in the way employment services are delivered. In 2020, the ministry will move forward with:

  • Ensuring employment services are working effectively with other government services, including social assistance, so when people find themselves facing barriers to employment, or in a precarious employment situation, they can get the help they need;
  • Implementing the Employment Services Transformation prototype projects in Peel, Hamilton-Niagara, and Muskoka-Kawarthas. These prototype projects will create a more seamless and effective employment service system that achieves better results for job seekers, social assistance clients and employers; and,
  • Leading a workforce development and training review that will examine provincial levers to ensure that programming meets the evolving needs of Ontario’s job seekers, workers, and industries. The review will involve engaging with a broad range of stakeholders and Indigenous partners to inform the development of a workforce development action plan for the province

By providing job seekers and businesses with the best possible employment services, the government can help job seekers find and keep good jobs and help employers recruit the skilled workers they need to support a strong workforce.

Employment ontario systems are funded in part through two federal transfer agreements: the Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA) and the Workforce Development Agreement (WDA). As part of Ontario’s ongoing work to support effective skills training and workforce development systems, the province will continue to advocate for increased flexibility on the amount and use of the funding in the Labour Market Tranfer Agreements. This will maximize the province’s ability to deliver critical EO services and will support a swift recovery from the economic impacts of the COVID‑19 pandemic.

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is another program, separate from support for apprenticeship and the employment and training system, through which the ministry delivers on its mandate to create a dynamic labour market. Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program is the province’s economic immigration program that is delivered in partnership with the Government of Canada through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program recognizes and nominates those who have the skills and experience the Ontario economy needs, for permanent residence in Canada. The Government of Canada makes the final decision to approve their applications for permanent residence.

Occupational health and safety

The goal of Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSDs) Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) program is to reduce or eliminate workplace fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. The legislative foundation of the OHS program is the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations, which establish the rights and duties of all workplace parties.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires compliance with minimum standards to protect the health and safety of Ontario workers. The OHSA applies to all workplaces across all business sectors of Ontario except for work activities undertaken by an owner/occupant or a servant of an owner/occupant, in a private residence, or workplaces regulated by the federal government.

The Occupational health and safety program in MLTSD has two major streams — Occupational Health and Safety Enforcement and Occupational Health and Safety Prevention.

Occupational health and safety prevention

Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development's prevention activities are guided by the province-wide integrated occupational health and safety strategy. A key component of carrying out this strategy is the partnership Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development has with Health and Safety Associations (HSAs). Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development funds and oversees HSAs that offer OHS training, consulting, products, the mine rescue program, and specialized clinic services. The HSAs are comprised of the following organizations:

Sector-focused safe workplace associations

  • Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA)
  • Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA)
  • Workplace Safety North (WSN)
  • Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS)

Medical clinics

  • Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)

Training centre

  • Workers Health and Safety Centre (WHSC)

Together with OHS system partners, both streams of the program also undertake activities such as policy development, legislative/regulatory reform, establishment of health and safety standards, information and knowledge management, performance management and evaluation, training and education to raise public awareness. The program also funds and oversees specialized research centres that strengthen the OHS system through enhanced delivery of OHS services and products.

Occupational health and safety enforcement

Occupational health and safety enforcement activities are focused on ensuring compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations, particularly in high hazard workplaces to reduce workplace fatalities, injuries, and illness. Safe and productive workplaces are crucial in creating good jobs, attracting investments to the province, and bolstering the economy, in addition to the social and economic well-being of workers and their families. The ministry’s strategy for enforcing the OHSA is based on three pillars:

  1. Core enforcement through ministry’s OHS inspectors who have broad powers to enforce the Occupational Health and Safety Act. This includes the power to inspect any provincially regulated workplace; investigate any potentially hazardous situation or work refusal, complaint, injury, illness or fatality; order compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations; and commence a prosecution, when warranted

    Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development enforcement activities include:

    • Workplace visits that focus on inspecting high-risk workplaces in construction, industrial, health care, and mining sectors. Workplace visits also focus on raising awareness of key hazards in the workplace
    • Investigations which occur when the ministry is notified of a complaint, work refusal, critical injury, or fatality in a workplace
  2. Assisting and supporting compliance through the provision of information, resources, and tools to assist workplaces in meeting legislative requirements. Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development provides workplaces with compliance tools, including brochures, workbooks, e-learning modules, and videos
  3. Partnership where the ministry continues to build on its strong relationships within Ontario’s occupational health and safety system, including the WSIB, HSAs, approved training providers, and the Institute for Work & Health (IWH), to refine ministry enforcement efforts

    Ongoing stakeholder engagement is critical to the ministry’s Safe at Work Ontario strategy. Every year, the ministry holds consultations to shape and improve its occupational health and safety compliance strategy and build closer partnerships with its stakeholders. Additionally, ministry representatives regularly meet with the sector and issue-specific advisory committees and perform outreach activities. These consultations help the ministry understand workplace issues and respond quickly to changes in the workforce

Employment standards

Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development plays a vital role in promoting awareness of employment standards, such as minimum wage, hours of work, public holidays, and other standards through the ES Program. The program contributes to the creation and maintenance of fair and equitable workplaces that promote a competitive business environment and a level playing field for employers.

The program administers and enforces the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), and other employment-related legislation such as the Employment Protection of Foreign Nationals Act, 2009 (EPFNA), and the Protecting Child Performers Act, 2015 (PCPA).

Program services are delivered through regional field offices and by employment standards officers (ESOs) who investigate and resolve complaints under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 or Employment Protection of Foreign Nationals Act, 2009. The objectives of the Employment Standards program are twofold:

  • Investigating and rendering decisions on employee complaints about violations of the ESA and EPFNA
  • Educating employers, employees, and stakeholders, through outreach and partnerships, to promote awareness of ES

The Employment standards program also delivers research, analysis, and operational policy development function that ensures the employment standards framework (legislative and regulatory) reflects government commitments. The program’s activities help ensure that Ontario employees, including new, young, and vulnerable workers, receive the minimum standard for wages and working conditions.

Program planning for 2020-21 will continue to be impacted by COVID‑19. The Program is monitoring claims volumes to make adjustments as needed.

Labour relations

Stable labour relations are a cornerstone of economic prosperity. The objective of Labour Relations (LR) is to create a stable labour relations climate and harmonious workplace relationships needed to foster productive, supportive, and dynamic workplaces in Ontario. Labour Relations provides services to the Ontario Public Service, the broader public sector and private sector, and is the central source of neutral labour relations information, policy, and research in Ontario. Through the LR program, MLTSD administers and supports key legislation, including the Labour Relations Act, 1995.

Key services delivered through the Labour Relations program include:

  • Mediation services – facilitates and monitors the collective bargaining process in the province and assists employers and trade unions to resolve outstanding issues through conciliation and mediation. There are over 16 thousand collective bargaining relationships in Ontario, covering 1.8 million workers. Mediators assist employers and unions negotiating collective agreements and MLTSD has consistently reported settlements without a work disruption in 99% of these negotiations. Several significant collective agreements will expire in the 2020-2021 fiscal year, which will include the University of Toronto, York University, automotive manufacturing, Brewers’ Retail, the LCBO and the Toronto Transit Commission
  • Arbitration services – facilitates and monitors the arbitration process, identifies and appoints experienced and acceptable individuals to act as arbitrators and nominees of arbitration cases, and catalogues arbitration awards for public availability
  • Labour relations information bureau (LRIB)/Collective bargaining program administration (CBPA) – serves as the data collection centre for all of Ontario’s public and private sector collective agreements and provides digital solutions to support businesses and Ontarians with neutral collective bargaining information. This includes the Collective Bargaining Ontario website that contains several digital tools, such as an e-Library of over 55,000 collective agreements, a grievance arbitration portal of arbitration decisions from 2014 forward, and other self-serve tools that assist with collective bargaining and research by the labour relations community, the broader public sector, and all levels of government

The Labour relations program also includes a policy development function, which manages legislative regulatory and policy development for labour relations in Ontario. This includes providing advice, research and analysis, supporting inter-ministerial and inter-governmental policy development; and conducting consultations with stakeholders.

Detailed financial information

The activities of the ministry are funded through the vote structure as laid out below.

Ministry allocation of 2020-21 base spending ($1,596.9 M) footnote 1
Operating Expense by Vote$ Millions%
Ministry Administrationfootnote 220.21.3
Pay Equity Commission3.50.2
Labour Relations23.31.5
Occuplational Health and Safety220.313.8
Employment Rights and Responsibilities46.42.9
Employment Ontario1,283.280.4
Ministry planned expenditures 2020-21 ($M)
ItemAmount
COVID‑19 approvals100.0
Other operating1,186.5
Capital6.9
Total1,293.4

Combined operating and capital summary by Vote

Ministry Total Operating Expense

Operating expense
Votes/ProgramsEstimates 2020-2021
$
Change from estimates 2019-2020footnote 3
$
Change from estimates 2019-2020
%
Estimates in 2019-2020
$
Interim actuals 2019-2020
$
Actuals 2019-2020
$
Ministry administration20,160,300(1,855,500)(8.4)22,016,10021,985,61323,323,412
Pay equity commission3,499,500(39,800)(1.11)3,539,3003,532,0233,439,834
Labour relations23,295,500(962,300)(4.0)24,257,80024,214,12424,798,910
Occupational health and safety220,298,60011,938,600(5.7)208,360,000208,280,005220,168,426
Employment rights and responsibilities46,409,900(876,100)(1.9)47,286,00042,238,51848,779,434
Employment ontario1,276,728,100(22,465,600)(1.7)1,299,193,7001,243,212,3001,250,409,301
Less: special warrants000000
Total operating expense to be voted1,590,391,900(14,261,000)(0.9)1,604,652,9001,543,462,5831,570,919,317
Special warrants000000
Statutory appropriations6,565,014006,565,0146,564,0001,695,590
Ministry total operating expense1,596,956,914(14,261,000)(0.9)1,611,217,9141,550,026,58301,572,614,907
Consolidation and other adjustments(310,501,400)29,503,2000(340,004,600)(306,562,900)(315,058,036)
Total including consolidation and other adjustments1,286,455,51415,242,2001.21,271,213,3141,243,463,6831,257,556,871
Operating assets
Votes/ProgramsEstimates 2020-2021
$
Change from estimates 2019-2020
$
Change from estimates 2019-2020
%
Estimates in 2019-2020
$
Interim actuals 2019-2020
$
Actuals 2019-2020
$
Ministry administration1,000001,00000
Employment Ontario2,000,000002,000,0002,000,000747,500
Total including special warrants2,001,0000002,001,0002,000,000747,500
Less: special warrants000000
Total operating assets to be voted2,001,000002,001,0002,000,000747,500
Special warrants000000
Total operating assets2,001,000002,001,0002,000,000747,500
Capital expense
Votes/ProgramsEstimates 2020-2021
$
Change from estimates 2019-2020
$
Change from estimates 2019-2020
%
Estimates in 2019-2020
$
Interim actuals 2019-2020
$
Actuals 2018-2019
$
Ministry administration1,000001,0001,0000
Occupational health and safety3,621,0003,130,000637.5491,000491,000490,000
Employment rights and responsibilities1,000001,0001,000936,027
Employment Ontario14,001,0000014,001,00014,001,000014,017,731
Less: special warrants000000
Total capital expense to be voted17,624,0003,130,00021.614,494,00014,494,00015,443,758
Special warrants000000
Statutory appropriations1,600,200(195,900)(10.9)1,796,1001,796,0721,449,558
Ministry total capital expense19,224,2002,934,10018.016,290,10016,290,07216,893,316
Consolidation and other adjustments(12,296,200)(279,200)0(12,017,000)(12,280,300)(15,361,890)
Total including consolidation and other adjustments6,928,0002,654,90062.14,273,1004,009,7721,531,426
Capital assets
Votes/ProgramsEstimates 2020-2021
$
Change from estimates 2019-2020
$
Change from estimates 2019-2020
%
Estimates in 2019-2020
$
Interim actuals 2019-2020
$
Actuals 2018-2019
$
Ministry administration1,000001,0001,0000
Occupational health and safety1,000(2,656,000)(100.0)2,657,0001,0000
Employment standards499,000(3,337,200)(87.0)3,836,2003,816,0003,427,030
Employment Ontario1,0001,0000000
Less: special warrants000000
Total capital assests to be voted502,000(5,992,200)(92.3)6,494,20003,818,0003,427,030
Special warrants000000
Statutory appropriations000000
Ministry total capital assets502,000(5,992,200)(92.3)6,494,2003,818,0003,427,030
Ministry total operating and capital including consolidation and other adjustments (not including assets)
Votes/ProgramsEstimates 2020-2021
$
Change from estimates 2019-2020
$
% 2019-2020
%
Estimates in 2019-2020
$
Interim actuals 2019-2020
$
Actuals 2018-2019
$
Ministry total1,293,383,51417,897,1001.41,275,486,4141,247,473,4551,259,088,297

Historic trend

Historic trend table
Historic trend analysis dataActuals 2017-2018
$
Actuals 2018-2019
$
Estimates 2019-2020footnote 4
$
Estimates 2020-2021
$
Ministry total operating and capital including consolidation and other adjustments (not including assets)$1,254,163,508$1,259,088,297$1,275,486,414$1,293,383,514
Percent changeN/A0.39%1.30%1.40%

Further information on the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development’s programs and initiatives please visit our webiste.

For additional financial information, see:

Agencies, boards and commissions

The work of the ministry is supported by several agencies

Office of the worker adviser (OWA): The Office of Worker Adviser provides advisory, representation, and educational services to non-unionized injured workers and survivors, and represents them before the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal. The OWA also provides support to non-unionized workers in Section 50 (Occupational Health and Safety Act) reprisal cases being heard at the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

Office of the employer adviser (OEA): The Office of the Employer Adviser provides advisory and educational services to all Ontario employers and representation services primarily to smaller employers, with fewer than 100 employees, with regard to workplace safety and insurance matters before the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal. The OEA also provides support to employers with fewer than 50 employees in Section 50 (Occupational Health and Safety Act) reprisal cases being heard at the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

Pay equity office (PEO): The Pay Equity Office administers Ontario’s Pay Equity Act, which is intended to redress systemic gender discrimination in the compensation of work primarily performed by women. The PEO provides education and advice to employers, employees, and bargaining agents in the public and private sectors to achieve and maintain pay equity in their workplaces. The PEO also investigates complaints, conducts monitoring programs, attempts to effect settlements of pay equity issues between the parties and issues Orders for compliance where necessary.

Pay equity hearings tribunal (PEHT): The Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal, a quasi-judicial tri-partite administrative tribunal, is responsible for adjudicating disputes arising under the Pay Equity Act.

Ontario labour relations board (OLRB): The Ontario Labour Relations Board is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal that mediates and adjudicates a variety of employment and labour relations-related matters under various Ontario statutes, including appeals of decisions of employment standards officers and occupational health and safety inspectors.

Crown employees grievance settlement board (GSB): The Crown Employees Grievance Settlement Board is an independent quasi-judicial tribunal that mediates and adjudicates labour relations rights disputes of Ontario Crown Employees.

Public service grievance board (PSGB): The Public Service Grievance Board is an independent, adjudicative tribunal that provides dispute resolution services to certain management and excluded members of Ontario’s public service and broader public sector employers.

Office of the fairness commissioner (OFC): The Office of the Fairness Commissioner supports the Fairness Commissioner in acting on the mandate set out in the Fair Access to Regulated Professions and Compulsory Trades Act, 2006 (FARPACTA) and the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA). The Fairness Commissioner assesses the registration practices of certain regulated professions and trades to make sure they are transparent, objective, impartial, and fair for anyone applying to practice his or her profession in Ontario.

Agencies not part of ministry estimates

Workplace safety and insurance board (WSIB): The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board promotes health and safety in workplaces; facilitates the return to work and recovery of workers who sustain personal injury arising out of, and in the course of, employment or who suffer from an occupational disease; facilitates the re-entry into the labour market of workers and spouses of deceased workers; and provides compensation and other benefits to workers and to the survivors of deceased workers.

Workplace safety and insurance appeals tribunal (WSIAT): The Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal is an adjudicative tribunal which may confirm or vary a WSIB decision, and hears and decides appeals of final decisions of the WSIB.

Prevention council: The Prevention council provides advice to the Minister on the appointment of a Chief Prevention Officer and any other matter as specified by the Minister. Further, the Prevention council provides advice to the Chief Prevention Officer on the prevention of workplace injuries and occupational diseases, for the purposes of the provincial occupational health and safety strategy, and the annual report under section 22.3 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and on any significant proposed changes to the funding and delivery of services for the prevention of workplace injuries and occupational diseases.

Labour-Management advisory committee: The Labour-Management advisory committee advises on grievance arbitration matters and about individuals qualified to act as grievance arbitrators under the Labour Relations Act, 1995.

College of trades appointments council and classification roster (COTACCR): The College of Trades Appointments Council and Classification Roster appoints members to the Ontario College of Trades’ governing structure, and establishes panels to make determinations on the classification of trades in Ontario as either voluntary or compulsory.

In October 2018, the Ontario government announced its intention to introduce a replacement model for the skilled trades and apprenticeship system and to wind-down the Ontario College of Trades. As part of the wind-down process, activities related to COTACCR have ceased.

Ontario immigrant investor corporation (OIIC): The Ontario Immigrant Investor Corporation operates as an approved fund to invest and repay monies received from the federal Immigrant Investor Program (IIP) which granted permanent residence to qualifying immigrants to Ontario.

In April 2014, the federal government terminated the Immigrant Investor Program, but the OIIC is legally bound to remain operational until the last repayment of immigrant investor monies allocated to Ontario, in 2022-23. The funds managed by the OIIC are held outside of the consolidated revenue fund.

Summary of expenditures: Agencies, boards and commissions (ABCs)

Agencies, boards and commissions2019-20 Interim actual revenue footnote 52019-20 Interim actual expenditure footnote 52020-21 estimates
Pay equity office03,033,2003,033,300
Pay equity hearings tribunal0498,030466,200
Ontario labour relations board012,689,80012,890,700
Grievance settlement board (see note 1)02,485,7352,485,700
Office of the worker adviser (see note 2)011,367,05111,364,800
Office of the employer adviser (see note 2)03,771,1443,626,800
Office of the fairness commissioner01,803,5001,803,500

Note 1

All costs of the Grievance Settlement Board are fully recovered from government Ministries as expenditure recoveries and from crown employers and trade unions as revenue.

Grievance settlement board recoveries
Ministry recoverables2019-20 Interim2019-20 Estimates
Recoveries – government ministries2,106,1272,106,100
Revenue – crown employers and unions2,485,7352,486,700
Total recoverable4,591,8624,592,800

Note 2

The amounts shown are gross amounts and are fully recoverable from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal report to the Minister of Labour but are not included in the ministry's Expenditure Estimates because they are not funded through the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).

Ministry organization chart

The following positions report to the Minister:

  • Deputy Minister
  • Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Prevention Officer

The following positions report to the Deputy Minister:

  • Assistant Deputy Minister of Internal Administrative Service Division and Chief Administrative Officer
  • Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations Division
  • Assistant Deputy Minister, Labour Relations Solutions Division
  • Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy Division
  • Assistant Deputy Minister/Chief Administrative Office, Corporate Management and Services Division
  • Associate Deputy Minister and Chief Prevention Officer
  • Communications and Marketing Branch
  • Data management Branch
  • Labour and Transportation I&IT Cluster (Ministry of Transportation)
  • Legal Services Branch (Ministry of the Attorney General)
  • Internal Audit Services (Treasury Board Secretariat)

The following positions report to the Chief Prevention Officer/Assistant Deputy Minister:

  • Strategy and Integration Branch
  • Training and Safety Programs Branch
  • Planning and Resource Management Secretariat

The following positions report to the Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations Division:

  • Employment Practices Branch
  • Occupational Health and Safety Branch
  • Northern Region
  • Central East Region
  • Central West Region
  • Western Region
  • Eastern Region
  • Operations Integration Unit and Coordination Unit

The following positions report to the Assistant Deputy Minister, Labour Relations Solutions Division:

  • Dispute Resolutions Services
  • Strategic Initiatives

The following positions report to the Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy Division:

  • Employment and Labour Policy Branch
  • Health and Safety Policy Branch
  • Corporate Policy and Special Projects Branch
  • Open for Business Mission Team

The following positions report to the Assistant Deputy Minister/Chief Administrative Officer:

  • Strategic Human Resources Branch
  • Finance & Administration Branch
  • Corporate Services Branch

While they operate at arms-length from the Ministry for their quasi-judicial functions. The following agency heads report to the Minister for operational and policy purposes, and most report to the Deputy Minister for administrative purposes.

  • Ontario Labour Relations Board
  • Grievance Settlement Board
  • Public Service Greivance Board
  • Pay Equity Office
  • Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal
  • Office of the Employer Adviser
    (Funded by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board)
  • Office of the Worker Adviser
    (Funded by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board)
  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
    (Funded by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board)
  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal
    (Funded by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board)

Annual report 2019-20

In 2019-20, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) supported the government’s focus on making Ontario more competitive by preparing people for jobs, supporting employers in meeting their labour needs, creating safe and fair workplaces that increase productivity, and building a smarter government through key investments and providing new tools to employers.

Key areas of progress in 2019-20

  • As a result of the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018, the ministry focused on modernizing its apprenticeship system, reducing regulatory burden in the skilled trades, and creating more opportunities for apprentices and employers
  • The ministry, through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), achieved its 2019 nomination allocation of 6,650 nominations issued to successful applicants across all program streams in November. In December, the federal government granted Ontario an additional 700 nominations, which were allocated before year-end
  • The ministry continued to support the prevention of occupational injury and illness in the province by collaborating with system partners and leveraging existing expertise
  • Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development continued to target hazards and sector-specific issues to improve health and safety in Ontario workplaces. There were also province-wide initiatives focusing on the internal responsibility system and occupational disease (including respiratory disease and musculoskeletal disorders) in the construction, health care, industrial, and mining sectors
  • The ministry refocused its resources towards claim resolution to address the claims inventory and wait times in the Employment Standards (ES) Program. The program has made progress modernizing ES services by developing digital and self-service tools online to promote self-reliance among employers and workplace parties, making it easier for employers and employees to understand and comply with the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA)
  • Modernized labour relations services to align with the government’s Open for Business and Smart initiatives by making it easier to access neutral collective bargaining information on Collective Bargaining Ontario, and by launching e-Requests to allow users to submit service applications online. These initiatives reduce the red tape and administrative burdens on businesses, simplify access to data, and eliminate the costs of obtaining collective bargaining information

Reforming apprenticeships and supporting the skilled trades

  • Apprenticeship is a critical part of Ontario’s employment and training programs. It combines in-class and work-based training for people who want to work in a skilled trade. The government supports apprentices by providing programs that prepare individuals for apprenticeship training, financial supports for those attending in-class training and financial bonuses for program completion. The 2019 Ontario Budget set out the government’s vision for a modernized, client-focused apprenticeship and skilled trades system, which were implemented through the following initiatives:
    • Establishing a new governance framework through the Modernizing the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2019 (MSTAA), which supports a ministry-led delivery model with industry input into training programs and regulation
    • Encouraging employer participation in the apprenticeship system through a new financial incentive program to support employers and train apprentices
    • Promoting apprenticeship and skilled trades as a pathway choice for all students from kindergarten to Grade 12
  • The government is working hard to reduce complexity, cut red tape, allow Ontario businesses to hire more apprentices, encourage more young people to develop a career in the trades, and bring quality jobs back to the province. To support these goals, College membership fees for apprentices have been eliminated and annual membership fees for journeypersons have been reduced by 50%
  • To maintain continuity of service for apprentices and their employers and support the wind-down of the Ontario College of Trades, a Minister’s regulation under the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009 took effect on March 3rd, 2020, which makes apprenticeship program standards subject to the approval of the Minister, and modifies the size, composition, and quorum of the Ontario College of Trades’ Board of Governors. The regulation also enables the Minister to designate the Chair of the Board
  • Announced in the 2019 Fall Economic Statement, the government-led consultations with industry and stakeholders and provided recommendations on ways to transform the skilled trades and apprenticeship system in order to help fill any skills shortages. The government is developing a suite of initiatives to support apprentices, employers, and other partners, including enhancements to the Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program
  • The ministry is helping individuals prepare for successful careers in the skilled trades and invested $20.8 million in 2019-20 to provide pre-apprenticeship training to approximately 1,800 people. Pre-apprenticeship training helps people develop the trade-specific knowledge, job skills and work experience they need to get good jobs in high-demand trades
  • The ministry continued to support apprentices, employers, and training delivery agents in 2019-20 with an investment of $189.0 million in existing training programs and financial incentives. This includes:
    • $13.0 million for the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program which offers students in grades 11 and 12 the opportunity to train in a skilled trade while completing their secondary school diploma
    • $89.3 million for the Apprenticeship In-Class Training Program to provide in-class training to apprentices
    • $4.7 million for the Employer Completion Bonus that provides a one-time, taxable $1,000 bonus to eligible employers for each apprentice who completes their apprenticeship training while under their employ
    • $14.0 million for the Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund Program to help training delivery agents make capital upgrades and buy state-of-the-art equipment essential for the technical training of apprentices
  • In August 2019, the ministry approved funding for additional classes for in-demand trades and encouraged new classes where there was evidence of demand. As a result, an additional 178 classes were made available, and wait times for classes were reduced for over 4,000 apprentices.

Supporting all job seekers and employers

  • In March 2020, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development announced the launch of a Workforce Development and Training Review. This review will examine provincial workforce development and training levers to ensure that programming will meet the evolving needs of Ontario’s job seekers, workers, and industries. The review will involve engaging with a broad range of stakeholders and Indigenous partners to inform the development of a workforce development action plan for the province
  • As part of the government’s Driving Prosperity plan to strengthen Ontario’s auto sector by leveraging sector strengths and charting a path for growth and creating jobs, the ministry committed $14 million to create new internships and other experiential learning opportunities in the automotive and advanced manufacturing sectors in Ontario. In support of the response to COVID‑19, the program was expanded to include work placements with auto or advanced manufacturers that have redirected efforts to produce medical supplies or equipment
  • The ministry has committed $3 million in a RapidSkills (Micro-Credentials) pilot to incentivize the development of high-quality, short-duration training that will help laid-off, at-risk, and underutilized workers quickly gain in-demand skills. The pilot focuses investments on the province's automotive and advanced manufacturing industries and their workers
  • In 2019-20, the ministry invested $20 million through the Skills Catalyst Fund, to support projects that test new and emerging approaches to labour market challenges, encourage partnerships between industry, education and training providers to drive innovation and allow employers to train the talent they need to support their workforce
  • The ministry committed $1.5 million in funding through the Ontario Human Capital Research and Innovation Fund to support research on innovative practices, to assist workers in developing the skills they need to get and keep good jobs and help employers build the workforce they need to grow their businesses
  • Ontario’s employment and training programs help job seekers find and keep good jobs and help employers recruit the skilled workers they need. Employment Ontario is the province’s network of employment and training programs that supports job seekers and employers. In 2019-20, Employment Ontario served about one million people through a suite of programs that the provincial government continues to fund, including:
    • Employment service: Provided over 670,000 clients with resources, supports, and services to respond to their career and employment needs
    • Second career: Provided over 3,830 laid off, unemployed workers with an opportunity to get new skills for jobs that are in demand in Ontario
    • Canada-Ontario job grant: Provided enough grant funding to businesses to train over 11,500 new or current employees
    • SkillsAdvance ontario: A sector-focused workforce development pilot that supported partnerships between 140 employers and 21 training providers
    • Literacy and basic skills program: Helped over 38,000 adult learners build critical foundational skills such as reading, writing, numeracy, and digital skills
    • Youth job connection/youth job connection summer: Helped more than 16,850 youth to either access programs that make them more job-ready, or to be matched with a job and offered employment
    • Ontario bridge training programs: Helped more than 6,000 highly skilled immigrants access fast-track training and customized services to help them access licensure and employment in their field, without duplicating previous training and education
  • In 2019-20, the ministry supported initiatives like Local Employment Planning Council pilots and Workforce Planning Boards to help local communities plan and deliver the employment and training programs and services they specifically need
  • Almost 200,000 Ontarians participate in adult education programs every year to upgrade their language, literacy, and numeracy skills, complete their Ontario Secondary School Diploma, obtain a license or experience to practice in their profession or skilled trade in Ontario, and more. In 2019-20, the ministry continued to support adult education with an investment of $105.4 million for the Literacy and Basic Skills program, with the aim to serve approximately 50,000 learners in 2019-20, and $25.2 million to help highly-skilled, internationally trained immigrants obtain a license and employment in their field through the Ontario Bridge Training program
  • In 2019-20, the government continued to support the expansion of the Dual Credit program to adults. There are approximately 990 adult learners enrolled in dual credit programs who will be supported to complete secondary school and successfully transition to college and/or apprenticeship

Ontario immigrant nominee program

  • Ontario immigrant nominee program achieved its 2019 nomination allocation of 6,650 nominations issued to successful applicants across all program streams.
    • The OINP met its full 2019 nomination allocation in November. In December, the federal government granted Ontario an additional 700 nominations, which were allocated before year-end
    • In 2019, the OINP also nominated 41 applicants through the NOC C Pilot – a Federal-Provincial partnership to increase permanent resident pathways for in-demand lower-skilled workers with job offers. This brought the total number of nominations in 2019 to 7,391 principal applicants. Those applications included 6,340 spouses and dependents for a total of 13,731 new immigrants to Ontario

Nominations were issued under the following streams:

2019 Ontario immigrant nominee program nominations by stream
StreamNumber of nominations
Employer job offer: International student stream1,347
Employer job offer: In-Demand skills stream19
Employer job offer: Foreign worker stream1,195
PhD Graduate stream234
Masters graduate stream805
Ontario’s express entry skilled trades stream639
Ontario’s express entry human capital priorities stream2,710
Ontario’s express entry french-speaking skilled worker stream401
Entrepreneur stream0
National occupation classification C pilot41
Grand total7,391
  • In 2019, the OINP saw a high number of nominations in technology-related occupations. Approximately 33% of all nominations were to individuals citing work experience or a job offer in a high-tech occupation, including software engineers and designers, computer programmers, interactive media developers, IT systems analysts, and technology consultants
  • The program also surpassed its 5% target for Francophone immigration, reaching 6.1% or 452 Francophone nominees. Most francophone applicants received nominations under the French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream and the Human Capital Priorities Stream
  • Nominees in 2019 came from over 130 different countries, with applicants from India and China receiving the highest number of nominations.
  • At least 35% of nominees already had a job offer in Ontario before nomination. More than 96% held a postsecondary degree and at least 53% had high language skills (Canadian Language Benchmark 7 or above) in at least one of Canada’s official languages

Prevention of workplace fatalities, injuries and illness

  • Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development made strides towards developing Ontario’s new Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Strategy, which included conducting jurisdictional and literature scans, reviews of health and safety data, an impact assessment of the previous Strategy, and discussions with internal partners. Development also included a ministry-led public consultation process which took place from April – May 2019. More than 1,000 Ontarians provided feedback on the strategy through in-person meetings across seven Ontario cities and an online survey
  • Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development launched a Certification Management System (CMS) on April 1, 2019, an online database of records of successful training completion for Working at Heights and Joint Health and Safety Committee Certification training. The CMS gives employers, learners and training providers access to find and register for courses, update profile information, conduct look-ups, validate eligibility for training, and enables easier upload of training completion information
  • In May 2019, the ministry partnered with Ontario’s four health and safety associations to promote the third annual Falls Awareness Week and to provide workplaces with resources to hold safety talks about workplace fall prevention. Falls continue to be a leading cause of work-related fatalities in Ontario. In 2019, the week formed part of the compliance assistance portion of the cross-sector High-Risk Hazard Slips, Trips, and Falls inspection initiative.
  • On November 22, 2019, the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development announced the Supporting Ontario’s Safe Employers (SOSE) program. SOSE is a voluntary program that accredits Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS) and recognizes employers that demonstrate excellence in health and safety at the workplace. Employers who have received recognition may be eligible to receive premium rebates from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). The WSIB is investing an estimated $140 million in rebates over the next three years
  • The Occupational Disease Action Plan (ODAP) continued to focus on initiatives across several approaches such as: awareness, training and education, enforcement, research and data management, and intelligence and decision support
    • Occupational Disease Action Plan added a Respiratory Hazards working group in 2019-20, to align with the Healthy Workers in Healthy Workplaces: MSDs and Respiratory Hazards enforcement initiative. As a result, asbestos and silica were added to the priority hazards that ODAP is addressing, which aligns with the Cancer Care Ontario’s Burden of Occupational Cancer Report (2017)
    • An environmental scan was completed and an inventory of resources on all of ODAPs priority hazards (Noise, Diesel, Allergens and Irritants, Asbestos and Silica) was developed, uploaded to Prevent occupational disease and shared on HSA websites through the Healthy Workers in Healthy Workplaces toolkit
  • The ministry continues to work with the Health and Safety Associations (HSAs) to develop initiatives to improve workplace mental health, including setting funding guidelines for mental health priorities. Two HSAs received approval for mental health programs:
    • The Public Services Health and Safety Association received approval for the Mental Health & Impairment Program
    • Workplace Safety and Prevention Services received approval for the Laying the Foundation for Workplace Mental Harm Prevention project
  • In 2019-20, with the joint effort of the OHS system partners, a range of tools have been developed to help employers prevent work-related psychological injuries, including ThinkMentalHealth, a website that provides business owners with resources to better understand and prevent mental health problems in the workplace. The site has received more than 8,000 visitors and 42,801 page views
  • The ministry initiated a multi-year modernization plan in 2019-20 to modernize funding and accountability of HSAs towards an evidence-based, outcome-focused performance measurement model. Modernization will occur for the next few years with incremental changes year over year and include the introduction of a performance measurement framework to ensure HSAs program and services meet occupational health and safety priorities. There will also be a focus on ensuring the HSAs programs are meeting the needs of small to medium size businesses
  • The ministry launched an Occupational Health and Safety System Data Community to develop a common, system-wide approach to data-related issues amongst OHS system partners in order to improve occupational health and safety outcomes in Ontario
  • Over the course of 2019-20, nine new members were appointment to the Prevention Council. Actions of the Prevention Council include providing feedback and endorsing the direction of the new Occupational Health and Safety Strategy and Prevention Division Annual Operating Plan. The new chair of the council is Erin Oliver. Erin is currently the Vice President of Health, Safety & Sustainability at Modern Niagara
  • In January 2020, the Prevention Office uploaded data on grant funding, recipients, and outcomes for all 110 research projects funded since 2012 to the Open Data Catalogue. Making ministry-funded research publicly available will assist employers in reducing workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities and allow other occupational health and safety partners to build on existing evidence in their research activities
  • Between April 1, 2019, and March 31, 2020, 194,312 learners completed Working at Heights (WAH) training and the program approved an additional 22 WAH training programs. In the same period, 18,126 learners completed the Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC) Certification training and the program approved an additional 31 JHSC Certification training programs
  • The Prevention Office also initiated the five-year review of the WAH Training Program. This will include a consultation in 2020 and explore issues such as facilitating mobility between provinces
  • In Winter 2019, the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development announced changes to the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) training program requirements and provider standards that will reduce the burden on business while maintaining standardized high-quality training accessible to all workers across Ontario. The changes will simplify requirements for certification, improve access to training, modernize the way JHSC Certification training is delivered, and allow greater flexibility in learning options
  • The following figures are from the fiscal year beginning April 1, 2019, and ending March 31, 2020:
    • Total number of training standards field assessments: 37
    • Total number of phone and email inquiries answered: 17,000
    • Cleared a backlog of nearly 115,000 training records as a result of the implementation of the CMS
    • Total number of Training Programs:
      • Approved: 53
      • Rejected or Withdrawn: 23 (9 of which were previously approved)

Making workplaces safer and healthier

In 2019-20, MLTSD conducted 11 provincial blitzes in the construction, industrial, health care, and mining sectors to address concerns and raise awareness of occupational health and safety hazards, which included:

Provincial blitz focusSector
Personal protective equipmentConstruction
Suspended access equipmentConstruction
New and young workers' health and safetyIndustrial
Machine guardingIndustrial
Emergency preparedness self-auditMining
Ground controlMining
Workplace violence prevention in long-term care, retirement homes and community care workplacesHealth Care
Group homesHealth care
Healthy workers in healthy workplaces: musculoskeletal disorders and respiratory hazardsCross-sector: occupational hygiene
High-risk traumatic hazards: slips, trips and fallsCross-sector: falls
MunicipalitiesCross-sector: ergonomics

In 2019-20, Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development continued to deploy a two-phase system for some blitzes:

  • During the compliance assistance campaign (phase 1), MLTSD worked with HSAs to raise awareness and provide resources, training, and education to workplace parties
  • During the inspection blitz (phase 2), inspectors conducted field visits to check compliance with the OHSA and its regulations, and to raise awareness about specific issues at the workplaces visited. Inspectors and health and safety associations continued to provide compliance assistance

Other achievements in 2019-20 aimed at making Ontario workplaces healthier and safer include the following:

  • In 2019-20, Health and Safety Inspectors carried out 81,345 field visits and issued 110,068 orders
  • The WSIB reported a Lost-Time Injury (LTI) rate for Schedule 1 employers of 1.0 for 2018. There is an upward trend evident from 2015 to 2018. The 2019 LTI rate will be available by June 2020
Figure 1: Lost-Time Injury Rates – Schedule 1 Employers
Calendar yearsLost-Time Injury Rate per 100 workers
20101.15
20111.05
20121.01
20130.95
20140.92
20150.85
20140.92
20160.94
20170.95
20181.00
20190.83

Source: Workplace Safety and Insurance Board By the Numbers 2017, Schedule 1

  • Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development continued to lead the Underground Economy (UE) initiative in partnership with the Ministry of Finance (MOF). The UE initiative aims to increase compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), the Consumer Protection Act, and taxation legislation, as well as educate consumers on the hazards of participating in operating in the underground economy. The results of the field activity are being used to work on developing a risk matrix that will identify employers that are more likely to be in non-compliance
  • Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and Ministry of Finance begin a pilot project to work in conjunction with the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) to inspect truck and auto repair facilities. The pilot will assist the enforcement ministries with determining where best to focus their enforcement efforts and reduce the burden on compliant employers
  • Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development conducted a total of 538 field visits with the residential re-roofing campaign and 933 field visits for the substantial renovation campaign in the construction health and safety program. Industrial health and safety program inspectors conducted 1292 field visits to nail salons and 311 field visits to Truck and Auto repair facilities.
  • In 2019-20, the Materials Testing Laboratory (MTL) tested 789 samples in accordance with the CSA G-4 standard
  • The MTL is accredited under the ISO 17025 international standard for laboratories and underwent a successful performance audit in December 2019
  • The Radiation Protection Services (RPS) team completed the following:
    • Radiation Protection Services Laboratory underwent six audits/inspections between January 1, 2019, and March 1, 2020. These included an international emergency preparedness review (EPREV), Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) inspection, Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks laboratory inspection, and a CALA accreditation audit
    • Between January 1 and December 31, 2019, the laboratory collected 1,292 samples and performed 1,605 analyses in support of the Ontario Reactor Surveillance Program (ORSP)
    • Between January 1 and December 31, 2019, the laboratory analyzed 209 drinking water samples, resulting in 267 analyses performed in support of the Ontario Drinking Water Surveillance Program (DWSP)
    • Completed a total of 850 x-ray registration and x-ray installation reviews
  • Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development engaged 11,199 businesses in 2019 through the Small Business Outreach project, conducted by summer students. The summer students acted as ambassadors of the ministry, promoting OHS compliance among Ontario’s small business community. Through the project, MLTSD shared resources with 10,765 small business owners and collected 4,253 surveys. From all small businesses visited, 2,483 small business owners expressed their interest in keeping in touch with the ministry, and many registered to the ministry’s What’s New e-newsletter
  • Focusing on modernization, the ministry has implemented a digital solution for OHS complaints to be filed online, transforming the way Ontarians can interact with the ministry
  • Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development has facilitated and supported two workers’ compensation-related external reviews conducted in 2019 — Dr. Paul Demers’ review of work-related cancers, and an operational review of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)
  • The government is reviewing regulations, with a focus on streamlining and eliminating unnecessarily complicated, outdated and duplicative Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development regulations affecting business, while maintaining regulations that protect Ontario workers. As a result, the ministry has made amendments to several regulations under the OHSA, including:
    • Regulation 851 (Industrial Establishments)
    • Regulation 854 (Mines and Mining Plants)
    • Regulation 855 (Oil and Gas Offshore)
    • Regulation 833 (Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents)
    • Regulation 490/09 (Designated Substances)
  • Additionally, numerous Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) activities were aimed at advancing occupational health and safety in Ontario’s industrial, health care, mining, and construction sectors. To this end, MLTSD:
  • Implemented a joint provincial/federal Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) enforcement initiative
  • Ensured annual compliance with the requirements of the Emergency Management & Civil Protection Act (EMCPA)
  • Refreshed the Mobile Compacting Equipment Safety Guideline in collaboration with industry representatives
  • Updated a guideline on traffic management programs in mines
  • Developed a new guidance for water management programs in mines and post-blast gas clearance
  • Facilitated and participated in various healthcare committees
  • Developed and promoted the new web resource Health and Safety for Small Businesses
  • Released a video on emergency preparedness for construction projects
  • Developed and produced an Asbestos Awareness video to alert workers of hazards associated with Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM); and
  • Made changes to the notification process for diving operations as well as increased mandatory information requirements to better ensure diver safety

Employment standards – protecting workers and supporting employers

  • Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development made significant strides in the ES Program and continued to focus on claim resolution. By June 2019, the unassigned inventory was essentially eliminated with claims being assigned within two to three weeks of filing. For fiscal 2019-20, the program received 17,715 claims and closed 18,965 claims
  • In 2019-20, MLTSD built on the progress made in previous years in modernizing ES services by developing digital tools that help both employees and employers access information and reduce administrative burden. In addition to the self-audit tool launched in late 2018-19, this year the ES Program:
    • Launched an online self-service tool designed to promote self-reliance among workplace parties, making it easier for employers and employees in Ontario to understand and comply with the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). As of March 31, 2020, the self-service tool has been used more than 55,000 times
    • Published the Employment Standards Policy and Interpretation Manual online in English and French for use by the public. As of March 31, 2020, the manual has been accessed more than 29,000 times
    • Continued to streamline MLTSDs online educational resource library, making it easier for small business employers to find the information they’re looking for
  • In 2019-20, the program conducted a total of 2,490 inspections. Of these, Employment Standard Officers conducted 831 inspections on repeat violators and vulnerable workers, such as temporary foreign workers and those employed by temporary help agencies.
  • Additionally, the ministry promoted compliance with the Employment Standards Act, 2000 by:
    • Modernizing educational efforts to expand the presentation portfolio by offering in-house live stream broadcasts and webinars. For the 2019-20 fiscal year, the MLTSD delivered:
      • Two in-house live streams, watched more than 1,600 times during the broadcasts; and
      • Seven topic-specific employment standards webinars to more than 330 participants
    • Launching monthly presentations for small business employers at Small Business Enterprise Centres across Ontario featuring employment standards and occupational health and safety information in partnership with the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
    • Delivering over 220 employment standards overview presentations in 2019–20 to a variety of audiences, including young workers, newcomers and employer groups
    • Supporting the Summer Student Small Business Outreach Initiative during which students visited over 10,000 small businesses across Ontario to raise awareness of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and Occupational Health and Safety Act requirements and promote educational resources
  • In 2019-20, MLTSD made contributions to the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act (Bill 66), which received Royal Assent on April 3rd, 2019, with respect to:
    • Employment Standard Posting Requirements; and
    • Removing Director of Employment Standards Approvals for Hours of Work and Overtime Averaging.
  • Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development also consulted on potential Employment Standards Act, 2000 changes for unionized parties regarding overtime averaging and led several regulatory changes under the ESA, including:
    • Amending Ontario Regulation 285/01, When Work Deemed Performed, Exemptions and Special Rules, to introduce exemptions and special minimum wage rates for wilderness guides that mirror the regulatory approach to hunting and fishing guides; and
    • Revoking Ontario Regulation 291/01, Terms and Conditions of Employment in Defined Industries — Women’s Coat and Suit Industry and Women’s Dress and Sportswear Industry, which was of limited application in light of changes in these industries

Creating and maintaining a stable Labour Relations environment

  • The ministry continues to modernize its dispute resolution services by using digital tools to provide conciliation and mediation online. It has digitized access to collective bargaining information and is promoting the use of neutral data as a means of continuing to foster, support, and maintain a harmonious, constructive and productive labour relations climate in Ontario
  • In 2019-20, the ministry assisted bargaining parties in response to approximately 2,560 conciliation and 640 mediation files
  • Of all ratified settlements in the 2019-2020 fiscal year, 99% were achieved without a work disruption. The ministry continues to meet its settlement target rate at or above 95%
Figure 2: Settlements without strike or lockout
YearPercentage of settlements without work disruption
2008-200998.0
2009-201098.0
2010-201199.0
2011-201298.0
2012-201395.0
2013-201499.0
2014-201598.0
2015-201699.0
2016-201798.0
2017-201898.0
2018-201999.0
2019-202099.0
  • There was an 87% increase in the incidence of strikes and lock-outs, and a 69% increase in person-days lost over when compared year over year. The increase was mainly due to the work stoppages in the K-12 education sector, resulting in approximately 254,700 person-days lost
  • Approximately 2,400 collective agreements were ratified in 2019-20, concentrated in the health and social services, construction, other services, education, and public administration. Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development's labour relations program facilitated notable settlements in the following sectors:
SectorBargaining highlights
Education
  • Teacher and education worker agreements were reached for all nine centrally bargained settlements under the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act (SBCBA)
  • Several agreements were reached for Ontario universities (for example, McMaster University, Nipissing University, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Ontario College of Art & Design University, and Trent University)
Health
  • Participating Long Term Care Homes and Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) reached two-year agreements
  • Several arbitration awards were issued for Participating Long-term Care Homes with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Unifor
  • Ontario Nurses' Association also negotiated three-year agreements with Local Health Integration Networks
Municipal government
  • Settlements were reached between several municipalities and their respective local police associations, the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters’ Association (OPFFA), and municipal inside/outside employees represented by CUPE
Provincial government
  • Arbitration awards were issued for the Ontario Government and the Ontario Provincial Police Association (OPPA) covering uniform/civilian officers for a four-year term
  • An arbitration award was also issued for the Correctional Services bargaining unit of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) and the Ontario Government, for a four-year term
Utilities
  • Ontario Power Generation Inc. received arbitration award settlements with CUPE for a three-year term, and with the Society of Energy Professionals for a two-year term
  • Hydro One Inc. and the Society of Energy Professionals reached a two-year agreement
Communications
  • Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) reached a three-year agreement with the Writers Guild of Canada
Construction
  • Mechanical Contractors Association Ontario settled a three-year agreement with the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada
  • Laborers’ Employer Bargaining Agency reached a three-year agreement with the Laborers’ International Union of North America
Manufacturing
  • Maple Lodge Farms Ltd. concluded a five-year agreement with United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW)
Trade
  • Metro Ontario Inc. and Unifor reached a four-year agreement
  • No Frills Franchise Stores also renewed a four-year agreement with Unifor
Transportation
  • Canada Post Corporation negotiated a five-year agreement with the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association
  • The Amalgamated Transit Union reached a number of agreements with various cities including Mississauga, Brampton, and Hamilton; and a four-year agreement with Greyhound Canada Transportation Corp
Other services
  • Ontario Gaming (Woodbine Casino) and Public Service Alliance of Canada reached a four-year agreement
  • GDI Services (Canada) LP ratified several agreements with Labourers International Union of North America and with Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
  • The ministry provided dispute resolution assistance in response to more than 1,400 new requests for arbitration, while closing or completing more than 1,200 arbitration files
  • The ministry appointed 580 arbitrators to settle both grievance and interest arbitration disputes where the parties were unable to agree on their own.
  • In 2019-20, the ministry enhanced its neutral labour relations research and analysis by providing self-serve digital services to numerous stakeholders — including unions, employers, academics, the broader public sector, other Ontario ministries, and the public — to inform decision-making. Its data and analysis continue to be a cornerstone of collective bargaining and are trusted by bargaining parties
  • It continued to provide neutral, reliable data to bargaining parties through specialized analysis and custom reporting. The ministry’s information is also used across multiple ministries and the broader public sector for analysis, planning and reporting purposes, particularly in response to legislation such as Bill 124, the Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019, which received Royal Assent on November 7,2019
  • New Collective Bargaining Ontario features were introduced in 2019, including the Collective Bargaining Expiries report, which provides an overview of collective agreements in Ontario that are set to expire, and identifies key sectors with upcoming bargaining for which users can drill-down by top employers or unions
  • Since July 15, 2019, almost 3,700 users accessed the Collective Bargaining Highlights report and over 600 users accessed the Collective Bargaining Expiries report
  • The ministry is promoting the use of its eRequests platform, which enables bargaining parties to apply for conciliation and grievance arbitration services online, instead of through outdated and less accessible methods such as mail and fax. This service is resulting in faster processing for applicants, greater efficiency, and more modern, streamlined services. More than 1,150 applications have been submitted using eRequests
  • In July 2019, the ministry launched the Grievance Arbitration Awards Portal, an online repository of all grievance arbitration awards that have been filed with the Minister since 2014. This satisfied Ontario Regulation – 482/18 of the Labour Relations Act, 1995, which provides that copies of grievance arbitration awards be published on a Government of Ontario website. Over 3,000 users have accessed the portal from 15 different countries including the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom
  • In September 2019, the ministry launched the Collective Agreement Submission Tool, an online resource that makes it easier for bargaining parties to comply with the legislative requirement to file collective agreements with the Minister
  • In 2019-20 Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development continued to support the collective bargaining process through its Collective Agreements e-Library, a searchable, self-serve portal that is available online 24/7. Over 30,000 users have accessed the site with over 254,000 page-views, and over 3,800 new collective agreements and interest arbitration awards have been uploaded. It has been accessed from all over the world — from over 140 countries to date, including the United States, India, United Kingdom, and China — and is growing continually
  • In 2019-20, there were also a number of policy achievements in the Labour Relations Program, including:
    • Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development led Schedule 9 of the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2019 (Bill 66), which amended the Labour Relations Act, 1995 to explicitly deem municipalities, school boards, hospitals, colleges, universities and other public bodies to be non-construction employers for the purposes of the Labour Relations Act, 1995. These changes came into effect on July 4, 2019, unless the affected entity had opted out
    • As part of the Protecting What Matters Most Act (Budget Measures), 2019 (Bill 100), MLTSD led amendments to the Public Sector Labour Relations Transition Act, 1997 (PSLRTA) that narrowed the application of PSLRTA to specific larger-scale restructuring events in the health sector
    • Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development led Schedule 8 of the More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019 (Bill 108), which restored the legislative rules related to concrete formwork and the province-wide application of the Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional sector (ICI) rules in the Labour Relations Act, 1995

Open for business

The ministry has continued to review its legislations and regulations to support the Government’s Open for Business Plan, including:

  • Revoking Ontario Regulation 291/01 – Terms and Conditions of Employment in Defined Industries — Women's Coat and Suit Industry and Women's Dress and Sportswear Industry, under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), effective October 30, 2019
  • Amending the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to repeal section 34, a notification requirement respecting new biological or chemical agents. This notification requirement pre-dated the federal New Substance Program and the Workplace Hazardous Material Information System ( WHMIS), and therefore overlapped these other systems
  • Amending the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 to allow the WSIB to establish a lower premium rate for executive officers and partners in construction who do not perform construction work
  • Effective January 1, 2020, amendments were made to streamline and modernize the occupational health regulatory scheme under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. This includes Regulation 833 (Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents) and Ontario Regulation 490/09 (Designated Substances). The changes replaced the 9 separate Medical Surveillance Codes with one single consolidated and updated Medical Surveillance Code, and replaced the 16 separate Codes for Respiratory Equipment and Measuring Airborne Substances with new, updated, and consolidated respiratory protection and measuring provisions
  • Amendments to Ontario Regulation 297/13 (Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training) that came into force on July 1, 2019, reduce the regulatory burden on the automotive sector by creating a targeted exemption for workers employed directly by automobile manufacturing plant employers from Chief Prevention Officer-approved working at heights training. An amendment to Ontario Regulation 213/91 (Construction Projects) also reduces the regulatory burden on the auto manufacturing sector by increasing the project cost threshold that triggers the requirement for the ministry to be notified of a construction project at an auto plant from $50,000 to $250,000
  • As of July 1, 2019, amendments to Regulation 851 (Industrial Establishments) help modernize some workplace health and safety requirements that apply to Ontario industrial establishments, including offices, factories, arenas, and shops by adding more flexibility in how to comply
  • Amendments to Regulation 855 (Oil & Gas – Offshore) that came into effect on July 1, 2019, modernize the existing requirements for life jackets and specific electrical equipment that is installed and used on offshore oil and gas rigs
  • Effective July 1, 2019, amendments to Regulation 854 (Mines and Mining Plants) help modernize mining regulations by harmonizing requirements for non-destructive tests with those found in other Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations, reducing regulatory burden by revoking several redundant or duplicative provisions, updating various references to recognized industry standards and by adding more flexibility in how to comply with certain requirements
Ministry interim actual expenditures 2019-20
Departmental resourcesMinistry interim actual expenditures 2019-20footnote 5
COVID‑19 Approvals ($M)0.0
Other Operating ($M)1,243.5
Capital ($M)4.0
Staff Strength (as of March 31, 2019) footnote 6
(as of March 31, 2019)
2,714.1

Acts administered by the Ministry: 2019-2020

  • Ambulance Services Collective Bargaining Act, 2001
  • Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act, 1993
  • Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act, 2009
  • Employment Standards Act, 2000
  • Fair Access to Regulated Professions and Compulsory Trades Act, 2006
  • Fairness for Parents and Employees Act (Teachers’ Withdrawal of Services), 1997
  • Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, Part IX (Firefighters: Employment and Labour Relations)
  • Government Contract Wages Act, 2018
  • Hospital Labour Disputes Arbitration Act
  • Labour Relations Act, 1995
  • Ministry of Labour Act, 1990
  • Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act, 1990, in respect of training and skills development
  • Modernizing the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2019
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • Ontario Colleges of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009
  • Ontario Immigration Act, 2015, except sections 2 and 3 of Part I as they relate to matters other than immigration training programs and the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program, except Part III as it relates to matters other than immigration training programs, and except section 21 of Part IV as it relates to matters other than immigration training programs and the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program
  • Ontario Labour Mobility Act, 2009
  • Pay Equity Act
  • Pay Transparency Act, 2018
  • Protecting Child Performers Act, 2015
  • Public Sector Dispute Resolution Act, 1997
  • Public Sector Labour Relations Transition Act, 1997
  • Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006 in respect of sections 21 to 27 and clause 31(1)(b) [only in respect of the Public Service Grievance Board]
  • Registered Human Resources Professionals Act, 2013
  • Regulatory Modernization Act, 2007
  • Rights of Labour Act
  • Toronto Transit Commission Labour Disputes Resolution Act, 2011
  • Workers Day of Mourning Act, 2016
  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997

The Ministry of Labour also has responsibilities under the following Act administered by another ministry:

  • Colleges Collective Bargaining Act, 2008
    • Administered by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. However, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development has a role in the conciliation process, and the Ontario Labour Relations Board also has functions and responsibilities under this Act.

Back to work Acts administered by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development

  • Back to Class Act (York University), 2018
  • Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Labour Dispute Resolution Act, 2017
  • Protecting the School Year Act, 2015