Ministry overview

Ministry’s vision

The Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) 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 ministry’s work on this front creates dynamic and equitable labour markets, safe and harmonious workplaces, and competitive labour and employment regulations. It is the ministry’s job to support the people of Ontario in all aspects and phases of employment.

The labour market

  • Identifying jobs of the future and related skills.
  • Nominating workers for permanent residence that have the right skills, experience and education to support the economy.
  • Connecting job seekers with training and skills development opportunities.
  • Promoting apprenticeships in skilled trades and developing programs and incentives to support increased uptake.

In the workplace

  • Developing policy to promote safe, fair and harmonious workplaces.
  • Helping parties resolve disputes quickly and providing collective bargaining data, research and trend analysis to inform decision‐making.
  • Enforcing the laws and providing information and education.
  • Working with partners to prevent workplace injuries, illness and fatalities.

Post employment

  • Setting rules around termination, layoff and severance.
  • Supporting workers who lose their jobs and need to transition to a new career.
  • Sending rapid response teams in cases of mass layoffs.
  • Ensuring compensation and supports in place for injured workers.

MLITSD supports a number of key government priorities for protecting Ontario’s economy, such as:

  • Establishing a competitive economy that creates good jobs and attracts investments.
  • Keeping Ontario workers safe.
  • Supporting a harmonious and stable labour relations climate that minimizes the number and duration of work stoppages.
  • Ensuring fair 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.
  • Transforming and integrating Ontario’s employment services to help job seekers, including those on social assistance, find and keep good jobs.
  • Nominating skilled immigrants for permanent residence that help fill Ontario’s labour market gaps and grow the province’s economy.
  • Supporting newcomers with settlement services and language training programs to set them up for economic success in the province.

As such, MLITSD 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 an unprecedented situation.

Ministry programs

MLITSD contributes to government priorities through the delivery of public services in five primary areas of responsibility:

  • Employment Ontario
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Employment Standards
  • Labour Relations
  • Global Talent and Immigration and Settlement

Employment Ontario (EO) aims to address labour market and skills gaps and enhance employment opportunities for all Ontarians. The objective of the program is to support job seekers in connecting with opportunities to find and keep good jobs, ensure employers can hire the skilled workers they need, and make sure the province has the best possible employment services. EO aims to achieve this by equipping more people with valuable skills through apprenticeships and transforming employment and training services to improve labour market outcomes for job seekers.

EO program is funded in part through two federal transfer agreements: The Canada-Ontario Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA) and the Canada-Ontario Workforce Development Agreement (WDA).

The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Program aims to prevent fatalities, illness, and injuries across Ontario workplaces. The OHS program has two major streams – OHS Enforcement and OHS Prevention.

OHS Enforcement activities are focused on ensuring compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations, particularly in workplaces with higher risk of injury. OHS Prevention activities are delivered in collaboration with system partners such as the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), Research Centres (RCs), Health and Safety Associations (HSAs) and private training providers (PTPs). Through these OHS activities, the ministry ensures business stability by creating safe and healthy workplaces.

Costs associated with the two OHS programs are fully recovered from the WSIB.

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 a stable and constructive labour relations climate and promotes productive workplace relationships in Ontario by facilitating effective labour relations, dispute resolution and providing collective bargaining information, research, and analysis to bargaining parties. MLITSD maintains a neutral role with respect to unions and employers.

The Global Talent and Settlement Services (GTSS) Program, through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program, nominates foreign workers, international students and others with the right education, skills and experience for permanent residence based on Ontario’s economic needs. The Immigration and Settlement Program delivers settlement and language training services to help newcomers integrate successfully and develop the official language skills needed for effective social and economic integration.

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program is fully cost recovered through fees.

Additional internal program: Anti-Racism Unit

The Anti-Racism Action Plan is a key commitment of the OPS Anti-Racism Policy and is an internal ministry initiative focusing on ministry staff. The plan is focused on three main objectives: building anti-racism competency and capacity, diversifying talent pathways, fostering accountable, anti-racist and inclusive workplaces. The overarching goal is to enable the ministry, in partnership with key OPS stakeholders, to collectively build a diverse, inclusive, accessible, and respectful workplace where every employee has a voice and the opportunity to fully contribute.

MLITSD’s anti-racism action plan lays the groundwork for how the ministry will transform organizational, workforce and workplace practices and processes, create a racially equitable organizational culture, provide equitable access to career development and investment opportunities, address and resolve issues of workplace discrimination and harassment, and provide equitable programs and services in Black, Indigenous and Racialized communities.

Through the Anti-Racism Action plan in 2021-22, efforts were focused on (1) enhancing capacity, competency and knowledge of Anti-Racism, Diversity, Inclusion and Equity; (2) development and implementation of career development programs focused on creating the foundation for racial equity in employment. These focuses were internal to the ministry and staff.

In 2022-23, the ministry will continue to identify and remove systemic racism barriers within policies, processes and practices that lead to disproportionate outcomes for employees and Ontarians from equity-deserving groups.

Planned activities and continued COVID-19 response in 2022-23

In the previous couple of years, MLITSD has undertaken a number of different initiatives to address impacts of COVID-19 to protect Ontario’s workers and economy.

MLITSD will continue to support the province’s economic recovery through EO, focusing on delivery of the Skills Development Fund, expansion of existing employment and training programs, continued roll-out of the Employment Service Transformation (EST) model, calls for innovative ideas from key stakeholders (including employers and job seekers), and enhancing digital service delivery channels for skilled trades and apprenticeships.

The ministry will also continue providing free occupational health and safety training for health and safety representatives in up to 60,000 small businesses, focused on helping to lower injury rates and improve health and safety knowledge and practices in small businesses.

Through the Prevention Works strategy, the OHS system is moving towards an evidence-informed, risk-based model where prevention initiatives are outcomes-focused, with measurable results for continuous improvement.

The ministry will continue working on the Workplace Safety Plan Builder tool, which can include workplace hazards other than COVID-19, to help employers, especially small businesses, prevent occupational injuries and illnesses.

The ministry is continuing to respond to all OHS events regarding COVID-19 health and safety. In addition, a number of new OHS initiatives have planned for the upcoming year to help workplaces understand and comply with the OHS requirements for other significant OHS workplace hazards.

Through the 2022 budget, $205M has been reinvested to extend and enhance the Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit, which provides up to $2,000 per year in relief for 50% of a person’s eligible training expenses. This will continue to help workers get training needed for a career shift, re-training, or to sharpen their skills.

Additionally, beginning 2022-23, the Skills Development Fund program under EO will explore the opportunities of capital/infrastructure developments geared towards getting more Ontarians back into the workplace, as the economy recovers post COVID-19.

2022-23 Strategic plan

Employment Ontario (EO)

EO’s major activities and areas of focus are composed of the following:

Employment Ontario’s employment and training system (EO system) helps people prepare for, 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. MLITSD will continue to move forward with transforming the way it delivers employment services by integrating social assistance employment services into EO This will create one efficient system that is easier to use and more responsive to local conditions. The new system will create better outcomes for all jobseekers, including those on social assistance, and better support employers.

Support of apprenticeship and the skilled trades involve a combination of in-class and on-the-job training for people who want to work in a skilled trade and help businesses harness new talent while equipping workers with the practical skills and qualifications that the economy needs now and in the future. MLITSD is continuing its work to modernize Ontario’s skilled trades and apprenticeship system through the Skilled Trades Strategy, focusing on the following elements:

  • Breaking the stigma by promoting apprenticeship and the skilled trades as high-profile and desirable first choice careers in elementary and secondary schools.
  • Simplifying the delivery of services provided to apprentices, skilled trades workers and their employers through initiatives and ongoing implementation of the Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act, 2021, which enabled the creation of a new Crown agency, Skilled Trades Ontario (STO).
  • Removing obstacles for apprentices as they begin and progress through their careers and modernizing digital service delivery for the skilled trades and apprenticeship by providing secure and convenient access to online information and services.
  • Delivering high quality training using modern training equipment and encouraging more employers to participate in the apprenticeship system by providing financial incentives.

For the 2022-23 fiscal year, investments in the Skilled Trades Strategy will enable:

  • The potential hiring of 11 additional Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) Recruiters, for a total of 63 staff across 71 school boards and 806 participating schools.
  • Approximately 1,800 pre-apprentices to receive the financial support they need to complete their program and transition into apprenticeship training and could result in a 3% increase in program completions by pre-apprentices in 2022-23.
  • The support of over 15,000 apprentices, encourage greater employer engagement and increase the diversity of Ontario’s skilled trades and apprenticeship system.

Through the Workforce Development Action Plan (WDAP), the ministry committed to developing a plan that would strengthen Ontario’s workforce development system to keep pace with changes in the workforce and economy. The WDAP was broadened to the Workers’ Initiatives that aims to better meet the needs of jobseekers and workers and be more responsive to the workforce needs of employers and communities. Through the Workers’ Initiatives, the ministry aims to develop a plan to build and secure the most talented, resilient, and vibrant workforce to support the growth and prosperity of Ontario.

There are five policy initiatives that the government is taking on as part of Workers Initiatives in 2022-23:

  • Strengthen Labour Market Initiatives
  • Consolidate Local Workforce Planning Boards
  • Program Streamlining/Enhancements
  • Create a Partnership Framework
  • Develop a Workforce Development Plan

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)

The goal of MLITSD’s OHS program is to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. It is guided by the province-wide OHS strategy, Prevention Works. 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 OHSA requires compliance with minimum standards to protect the health and safety of Ontario workers. The program also undertakes activities such as policy development, legislative/regulatory reform, implementation of the Prevention Works strategy, establishment of health and safety standards, information and knowledge management, performance measurement and evaluation, and training and education to improve OHS knowledge and practices.

The OHS program delivers its services through two major streams – Prevention and Enforcement.

OHS Prevention

Prevention activities are guided by the province-wide integrated occupational health and safety strategy. Under this strategy, MLITSD works with businesses, worker groups and the provincial health and safety system partners to create a culture where occupational health and safety is at the centre of the workplace. A key component of implementing the Prevention Works strategy is the partnership MLITSD has with Health and Safety Associations (HSAs), OHS Research Centres and other key stakeholders. The Prevention program also funds and oversees specialized research centres and projects that strengthen the OHS system through enhanced delivery of OHS services and products.

There are a number of OHS training, awareness activities, and reviews planned for the 2022-23 fiscal year, including implementing revisions to the Working at Heights (WAH) training standards, and a review of the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) certification training program. MLITSD is also developing and implementing a performance measurement plan designed to continuously monitor and address the results of the OHS system’s interventions under Prevention Works, as well as the efficiency of their management. The ministry is on track to fully implement a system-wide performance measurement model in 2022-23. The performance measurement model will help the ministry better understand the effectiveness of the OHS system’s interventions and enable continuous improvement.

OHS Enforcement

OHS Enforcement activities are focused on ensuring compliance with the OHSA and its regulations, particularly in high hazard workplaces to reduce workplace fatalities, injuries, and illness, and promote safe and healthy workplaces in the province. The ministry’s strategy for enforcing the OHSA is based on core enforcement activities through ministry’s OHS inspectors. These inspectors have broad powers to enforce the OHSA and to support compliance through the provision of information, resources, and tools to assist workplaces in meeting legislative requirements.

In 2022-23, the ministry will conduct seven province-wide, cross-program initiatives in specific sectors:

  • A high-hazards initiative, focusing on struck-by motor vehicle accidents, and;
  • A mobile equipment hazards and a healthy worker healthy workplace initiative, focusing on occupational disease.

Employment Standards (ES)

MLITSD 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 administers and enforces the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), and its regulations along with the Employment Protection of Foreign Nationals Act, 2009 (EPFNA), and the Protecting Child Performers Act, 2015 (PCPA). Enforcement activities are delivered through regional field offices and by employment standards officers (ESOs) who investigate and resolve complaints under these Acts.

For 2022-23 the ES program will focus on:

  1. Combatting Labour Exploitation through the creation of a new licensing framework for Temporary Help Agencies (THAs) and recruiters, as well as the establishment of a dedicated Intelligence Team, to investigate potential labour violations that include matters of labour trafficking.
  2. Increasing employer and employee understanding of the ESA by providing accurate, prompt, and straightforward information and compliance assistance at appropriate times, by sharing educational resources and by supporting stakeholder outreach initiatives.
  3. Increasing compliance with the ESA by applying a flexible, measured, and progressive enforcement approach to non-compliance, in line with modern regulator principles. 
  4. Addressing ESA violations by conducting timely investigations and inspections that adhere to legislative, policy and administrative obligations, and that use enforcement tools and penalties appropriate to the situation.

Labour Relations (LR)

The objective of the LR program is to create a stable labour relations climate and harmonious workplace relationships needed to foster productive, supportive, and dynamic workplaces in Ontario. LR 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, MLITSD administers and supports key legislation, including the Labour Relations Act, 1995. The LR priorities in MLITSD are:

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.

Arbitration Services – facilitates 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) and Collective Bargaining Program Administration (CBPA) – serves as the data collection and analysis 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. The LR program also provides advice, supporting inter-ministerial and inter-governmental policy development, and conducting consultations with stakeholders.

Global Talent and Adult Language Training Program

The ministry unified provincial immigration programs, policy, and intergovernmental relations under a single umbrella, which allows the government to better coordinate its immigration-related priorities, including maximizing the benefits of skilled immigration to the economy.

The Immigration and Settlement Program supports the delivery of a range of services to help newcomers overcome integration barriers and integrate into communities and the labour market. This is done through the provision of settlement and labour market orientation services, language training, support for foreign qualification recognition, and specialized employment and training programs to help highly skilled newcomers resume their careers in Ontario quickly.

Through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) the ministry delivers on its mandate to create a dynamic labour market. OINP is delivered in partnership with the Government of Canada through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The OINP recognizes and nominates those who have the skills and experience the Ontario economy needs for permanent residence in Canada. This includes foreign entrepreneurs who have demonstrated a commitment to establish or purchase and grow durable and long-lasting businesses in communities across the province. The Government of Canada makes the final decision to approve all applications for permanent residence.

For 2022-23, the program is launching an Entrepreneurship Pilot that will identify and assist foreign entrepreneurs who are interested in leveraging the Entrepreneur Stream to come to Ontario.

Ministry Allocation of 2022-23 Base Operating Spending ($2,081.6 M) footnote 1
Operating Expense by Vote$ Millions%
Global Talent and Settlement Services99.24.8
Ministry Administrationfootnote 222.11.1
Pay Equity Commission3.30.2
Labour Relations25.51.2
Occuplational Health and Safety246.211.8
Employment Rights and Responsibilities102.94.9
Employment Ontario1,582.576.0
Table 1: Ministry planned expenditures 2022-23 ($M)
ItemAmount
COVID‑19 approvals364.2
Other operating1,416.7
Capital24.0
Total1,804.9

Detailed financial information

Table 2: Combined operating and capital summary by Vote

Operating expense
Votes/ProgramsEstimates 2022-2023
$
Change from estimates 2021-2022
$
Change from estimates 2021-2022
%
Estimates in 2021-2022footnote 3
$
Interim actuals 2021-2022 footnote 3
$
Actuals 2020-2021footnote 3
$
Ministry administration22,043,6002,081,30010.419,962,30021,432,50023,873,135
Pay equity commission3,299,000(163,600)(4.7)3,462,6003,462,6002,368,622
Labour relations25,474,7001,693,7007.123,781,00024,035,40022,477,069
Occupational health and safety246,177,3007,954,0003.3238,223,300239,102,100218,444,599
Employment rights and responsibilities102,909,40060,187,400140.942,722,000258,908,00038,837,437
Employment Ontario1,575,969,200(85,675,900)(5.2)1,661,645,1001,757,534,5001,420,196,382
Global Talent and Settlement Services99,164,80014,116,90016.685,047,90085,047,90090,170,016
Less: special warrants000000
Total operating expense to be voted2,075,038,000193,8000.02,074,844,2002,389,523,0001,816,367,260
Special warrants000000
Statutory appropriations6,565,014006,565,0146,565,014677,651
Ministry total operating expense2,081,603,014193,8000.02,081,409,2142,396,088,0141,817,044,911
Consolidation and other adjustments(300,709,200)60,553,5000(361,262,700)(349,116,100)(378,062,166)
Total including consolidation and other adjustments1,780,893,81460,747,3003.51,720,146,5142,046,971,9141,438,982,745
Operating assets
Votes/ProgramsEstimates 2022-2023
$
Change from estimates 2021-2022
$
Change from estimates 2021-2022
%
Estimates in 2021-2022 footnote 3
$
Interim actuals 2021-2022 footnote 3
$
Actuals 2020-2021 footnote 3
$
Global Talent and Settlement Services0(1,000)(100.0)1,0001,0000
Total including special warrants0(1,000)(100.0)1,0001,0000
Less: Special warrants000000
Total operating assets to be voted0(1,000)(100.0)1,0001,0000
Special warrants000000
Total operating assets0(1,000)(100)1,0001,0000
Capital expense
Votes/ProgramsEstimates 2022-2023
$
Change from estimates 2021-2022
$
Change from estimates 2021-2022
%
Estimates in 2020-2022 footnote 3
$
Interim actuals 2020-2022 footnote 3
$
Actuals 2020-2021 footnote 3
$
Ministry administration1,000001,0001,0000
Occupational health and safety491,000(2,828,000)(85.2)3,319,0003,319,000564,638
Employment rights and responsibilities1,000001,0001,0000
Employment Ontario39,001,00023,502,500151.615,498,50025,498,50013,903,225
Less: special warrants000000
Total capital expense to be voted39,494,00020,674,500109.9 18,819,50028,819,50014,467,863
Special warrants000000
Statutory appropriations3,074,4001,872,700155.81,201,7001,201,7001,368,022
Ministry total capital expense42,568,40022,547,200112.620,021,20030,021,20015,835,885
Consolidation and other adjustments(18,526,900)(3,175,700)0(15,351,200)(20,198,500)(11,875,952)
Total including consolidation and other adjustments24,041,50019,371,500414.84,670,0009,822,7003,959,933
Capital assets
Votes/ProgramsEstimates 2022-2023
$
Change from estimates 2021-2022
$
Change from estimates 2021-2022
%
Estimates in 2021-2022 footnote 3
$
Interim actuals 2021-2022 footnote 3
$
Actuals 2010-2021 footnote 3
$
Ministry administration1,000001,0001,0000
Occupational health and safety8,263,3008,050,3003,779.5213,000213,000644,044
Employment Rights and Responsibilities5,000,0005,000,000000497,843
Employment Ontario3,069,500(174,400)(5.4)3,243,9003,243,9000
Less: special warrants000000
Total capital assets to be voted16,333,80012,875,900372.43,457,9003,457,9001,141,887
Special warrants000000
Statutory appropriations000000
Ministry total capital assets16,333,80012,875,900372.43,457,9003,457,9001,141,887
Ministry total operating and capital including consolidation and other adjustments (not including assets)
Votes/ProgramsEstimates 2022-2023
$
Change from estimates 2021-2022
$
Change from estimates 2021-2022
%
Estimates in 2021-2022 footnote 3
$
Interim actuals 2021-2022 footnote 3
$
Actuals 2020-2021 footnote 3
$
Ministry total1,804,935,31480,118,8004.61,724,816,5142,056,794,6141,442,942,678

Historic trend

Historic trend table
Historic trend analysis dataActuals 2019-2020 footnote 4
$
Actuals 2020-2021 footnote 4
$
Estimates 2021-2022 footnote 4
$
Estimates 2022-2023 footnote 4
$
Ministry total operating and capital including consolidation and other adjustments (not including assets)1,232,010,1011,442,942,6781,724,816,5141,804,935,314
Percent changeN/A17.12%19.53%4.65%

Further information on the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, 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 OWA 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 OEA 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 PEO 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 PEHT, a quasi-judicial tri-partite administrative tribunal, is responsible for adjudicating disputes arising under the Pay Equity Act.

Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB): The OLRB is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal that mediates and adjudicates a variety of employment and labour relations-related matters under various Ontario statutes, including bad faith bargaining complaints, strikes and lockouts, school board collective bargaining disputes, appeals of decisions of employment standards officers and occupational health and safety inspectors including those related to the Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act, 2021

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

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

Office of the Fairness Commissioner (OFC): The OFC 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 WSIB 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 WSIAT 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 matters 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 on individuals qualified to act as grievance arbitrators under the Labour Relations Act, 1995.

Ontario Immigrant Investor Corporation (OIIC): The OIIC operates as an agency that invests and repays monies received from the federal Immigrant Investor Program (IIP), which granted permanent residence to qualifying immigrants to Ontario. The funds managed by OIIC are held outside of the consolidated revenue fund. 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, anticipated to occur in 2022-23.

Skilled Trades Ontario (STO): At maturity, STO will be responsible for a “one-window” delivery model for apprentice registration and certification of skilled tradespeople, in addition to maintaining and updating apprenticeship programs (including training standards, curriculum standards, and examinations).

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

Agencies, boards and commissions2021-22 Interim actual revenue footnote 52021-22 Interim actual expenditure footnote 52022-23 estimates
Pay equity office02,996,3002,832,700
Pay equity hearings tribunal0466,300466,300
Ontario labour relations board012,187,80012,251,400
Grievance settlement board (see note 1)02,671,0002,670,900
Office of the worker adviser (see note 2)012,892,60012,514,700
Office of the employer adviser (see note 2)04,020,8004,020,400
Office of the fairness commissioner01,778,1001,778,000

Notes:

  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 recoverables2021-22 Interim2021-22 Estimates
Recoveries – government ministries2,106,1002,106,100
Revenue – crown employers and unions2,673,5002,673,500
Total recoverable4,779,6004,779,600
  1. 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, Immigration, Training, and Skills Development but are not included in the ministry's Expenditure Estimates because they are not funded through the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).

Ministry organization chart

  • Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training, and Skills Development
    • Deputy Minister
      • Central Areas
        • Communications Branch
        • Labour & Transportation I&IT Cluster (Ministry of Transportation)
        • Legal Services Branch (Ministry of the Attorney General)
        • Internal Audit Services (Treasury Board Secretariat)
        • Executive Advisor
      • Corporate Management & Services Division CAO/ADM
        • Strategic Human Resources Branch
        • Corporate Services Branch
        • Finance & Administration Branch
      • Employment & Training Division ADM
        • Employment Services Transformation Secretariat
        • Program Delivery Support
        • Finance, Analysis and Systems Support
        • Organizational and Business Excellence
        • Northern Region
        • Central Region
        • Eastern Region
        • Western Region
      • Fair, Safe & Healthy Workplaces Division ADM
        • OHS Emergency Response
        • Occupational Health & Safety Branch
        • Employment Practices Branch
        • Operations Integration Unit
        • Northern Region
        • Eastern Region
        • Central East Region
        • Western Region
        • Central West Region
        • South Western Region
      • Global Talent & Settlement Services Division ADM
        • Ontario Immigration Nominee Program
        • Immigration Policy & Strategic Initiatives
        • Settlement Services
      • Prevention Division CPO/ADM
        • Strategy & Integration Branch
        • Training & Awareness Branch
        • Pandemic Workplace Safety Branch
      • Workforce Policy & Innovation Division ADM
        • Strategic Partnerships & Evaluation
        • Strategic Workforce Policy & Programs
        • Apprenticeship Branch
        • Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Transition
    • Associate Deputy Minister, Policy & Labour Relations ADM
      • Strategic Policy Division ADM
        • Health, Safety & Insurance Policy Branch
        • Employment, Labour & Corporate Policy Branch
        • Data Analytics & Research Branch
      • Labour Relations Solutions Division ADM
        • Dispute Resolution Services Branch
        • Strategic Initiatives Branch
  • Ministry Agencies
    • Deputy Minister
    • Office of the Employer Adviser
    • Office of the Worker Adviser
    • Ontario Labour Relations Board
    • Grievance Settlement Board
    • Public Service Grievance Board
    • Pay Equity Commission
    • Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal
    • Office of the Fairness Commissioner
    • Workplace Safety & Insurance Board
    • Workplace Safety & Insurance Appeals Tribunal
    • Ontario Investor Immigrant Corporation
    • Prevention Council
    • Skilled Trades Ontario

Annual report

In 2021-22, the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) 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, and building a smarter government through key investments and providing new tools to employers.

COVID-19 response in 2021-22

The ministry helped lead Ontario’s COVID-19 health and safety compliance and enforcement response by working proactively and collaboratively with partner ministries, agencies, and stakeholders. The overall goal was to help Ontario’s workers and businesses understand and comply with the ever-changing COVID safety requirements resulting from the pandemic.

Putting Workers First

On April 29, 2021, the Government passed the COVID-19 Putting Workers First Act, 2021, which created the Worker Income Protection Benefit (WIPB). WIPB is an employer reimbursement program under the ESA, for the same duration as the employee entitlement. The ESA requires employers to provide up to three paid leave days for COVID-related reasons at an employee’s current rate of pay or $200/day, whichever is lower. Eligible employers are entitled to be reimbursed the amount of infectious disease emergency leave pay.

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) was tasked to administer the program, and it was originally envisioned that this employee entitlement would be available until September 25, 2021. The program has been extended to March 31, 2023.

Responding to the needs of Ontarians: Understanding requirements and ensuring compliance

The ministry led the establishment and work of an integrated inspectorate from across 9 ministries and 3 agencies which resulted in over 1,200 Provincial Offences Officers conducting more than 27,000 visits to businesses with a 24/7 presence throughout Ontario. This “Multi-Ministry Team” worked collaboratively with 30 local public health units and their respective bylaw departments to advance COVID safety in communities across Ontario

MLITSD extended key legislative and regulatory measures to address the employment impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the temporary deferral of statutory termination and severance entitlements for temporary COVID-related lay-offs and a temporary special rule regarding recall rights and the payment of termination and severance monies into trust for the hospitality, tourism and convention and trade show industries.

In order to continue supporting inspectors and promote a consistent enforcement approach regarding COVID-19, the Coronavirus Advisory Team (COVAT) continued to provide guidance, advice, and feedback to staff to ensure consistent enforcement across the province.

The ministry deployed approximately 60 employment standards officers to help businesses understand and comply with the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (ROA) and public health orders issued under section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA).

Officers on the Compliance Assistance Team (CAT) conducted approximately 7,500 visits from April 2021 to March 2022 in sectors such as manufacturing, food processing, distribution centres, construction, business offices, small business, summer day camps, retail, and restaurants. CAT officers also completed approximately 700 follow-up visits regarding ROA compliance and continued to make referrals to other enforcement staff, such as occupational health and safety inspectors, public health inspectors and by-law officers.

The OHS Program continued to be a critical part of the government’s response to the pandemic. Ensuring that workers are protected during the pandemic has been a core priority for the ministry. The OHS Enforcement 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 in 2021-22. To support health and safety compliance in workplaces, the program has also enhanced COVID‑19 related inspections in priority sectors, and doubled the capacity of Ontario’s Health and Safety Call Centre from 25 to 50 phone lines.

In 2021-22, the ministry trained and appointed 102 new occupational health and safety inspectors who are now in the field responding to complaints and conducting investigations.

During fiscal year 2021-22, occupational health and safety inspectors have conducted more than 41,400 COVID-related workplace inspections and investigations across the province. During those visits, they’ve issued over 65,700 orders.

The ministry led the integration and coordination of COVID-19 safety inspections and investigations with local public health units and ESDC (Service Canada) to farms with Temporary Foreign Workers.

The ministry refocused employment standards resources to assist in helping businesses understand and enforce orders made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) and continued under the Reopening Ontario Act, 2020 (ROA).

Preventing the spread

The OHS Prevention Program continued to work with partner ministries to support the safe operation of essential businesses such as farming, food processing and construction, as well as key enablers of the economy including schools, childcare services, justice system, and transportation.

In partnership with Ontario’s health and safety associations, the ministry continued to produce, update and release workplace health and safety resources, including guidance notes, tip sheets and downloadable posters.

The OHS Prevention Program also delivered on a 2021 Ontario Budget commitment to develop an online “Workplace Safety Plan Builder” to help support small business owners to create and maintain their COVID-19 safety plans. This built on the Safety Plan guide and template, initially released in June 2020.

The builder was publicly launched in September 2021. It will be further refined and expanded in the future to support employers in making plans to address other workplace hazards.

MLITSD continued to participate in the Ministry of Health-led Provincial Antigen Screening Program to support the construction sector by communicating program requirements and updates to employers and to continue to help support the process between employers and the Ministries of Health and Government and Consumer Services to access tests and report on usage and findings.

In response to Keeping Ontario Safe and Open, MLITSD hosted a number of COVID-19 webinars as they related to OHS and employment standards. The webinars were delivered to more than 3,220 small business owners and vulnerable workers.

The ministry continued to work with the Ministry of Health, other ministries, employers, and stakeholders in providing regulatory and technical advice on occupational health and prevention of illness.

The ministry updated public-facing guidance documents as the pandemic evolved.  For example, the guide to developing your COVID-19 safety plan, COVID-19 construction guidance, and screening guidance for employers were updated to align with changes made to MOH guidance documents in response to the Omicron variant.

Supporting workers and industries

Ontario continued to support workers hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic by investing an additional $388M during 2021–22 to provide targeted employment and training supports. This includes:

  • The Skills Development Fund that enabled market-driven solutions and unlocked the economic potential of skilled trades and broader workforce development initiatives (including both apprenticeships and rapid, specialized training) to facilitate economic recovery.
  • In-demand skills training supports to sectors such as health and long-term care that were faced with growing labour shortages during the pandemic.
  • Rapid training opportunities that helped people retrain and upgrade skills and prepare for in-demand jobs, to respond to regional labour market needs and strengthen partnerships among postsecondary institutions, training providers and employers.
  • Assistance for women, racialized individuals, Indigenous people, newcomers, youth and people with disabilities who faced the highest rates of unemployment during the pandemic to get the training opportunities they need for good jobs and get connected with employers looking to grow their businesses.
  • Focusing on providing workers in the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic with career counselling and urgent training to find new careers and good jobs while leveraging transferable skills and experience.
  • Supporting Ontario workers with additional employment and training programs and services that are responsive to the province’s economic recovery.

The ministry also worked with apprenticeship Training Delivery Agents (TDAs) to support the completion, rescheduling, and alternative delivery of in-class programs that were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts included a $3M investment in the 2021-22 COVID Relief Fund, which assisted TDAs in implementing COVID-19 health and safety measures during the pandemic.

The ministry has also invested $87M to help people who were laid off due to the impact of COVID-19 find in-demand jobs in their local communities. This funding is provided through the redesigned Better Jobs Ontario (formally Second Career) grant program and helped job seekers with up to $28,000 for tuition, training materials and living expenses.

Supporting harmonious Labour Relations

Through the Labour Relations (LR) program, the ministry 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. These stakeholders include hospitals, long-term care homes, retirement homes, other congregate care settings, municipalities, and the construction industry.

This neutral evidence is critical to support harmonious collective bargaining. Ministries, Treasury Board Secretariat, the Municipalities; Universities, School Boards and Hospitals (MUSH) sector; the Broader Public Sector; law firms; and researchers all use this evidence to support negotiations. The key engagement with the LR program is made through its public website, Collective Bargaining Ontario (CBO). This site provides simpler, faster delivery of dispute resolution services and collective bargaining data, from application intake to reporting and analytics. Self-learning options, mobile options, and live training sessions were made available to better support clients.  In 2021-22, over 400 stakeholders attended CBO training to better equip themselves with the knowledge and capability to effectively use the site.

The Digital Strategy for Labour Relations and Collective Bargaining - The ministry is developing a one-window platform for the digital delivery of labour relations-related services to provide more modern and efficient methods for clients to submit Dispute Resolution Services requests, fulfill legislative requirements to file collective agreements with the Minister, and access collective agreements and collective bargaining data analytics.

The COVID-19 pandemic has re-shaped the ministry’s service delivery model, with conciliation and mediation services offered in a virtual setting to meet the changing needs of clients.

Other key areas of progress in 2021-22:

Modernization of the apprenticeship system through the Skilled Trades Strategy

Announced in Budget 2020, Ontario’s Skilled Trades Strategy is intended to modernize Ontario’s skilled trades and apprenticeship system and help enable the province’s economic recovery by breaking the stigma associated with skilled trades careers and attracting more youth, simplifying the system, and encouraging employer participation in apprenticeships.

In 2021-22, the ministry made progress on creating a modernized, client-focused apprenticeship and skilled trades system, through the following initiatives and investments in the Skilled Trades Strategy:

Breaking the stigma

  • The appointment of three Youth Advisors, who engaged with youth, educators, business, parents, and other key partners to provide recommendations to the Minister on how to reduce skilled trades stigma and barriers to entry, and how to make the skilled trades an attractive career choice for the incoming labour force.
  • The Youth Advisors’ recommendations informed several enhancements to the Skilled Trades Strategy which have been introduced in 2021-22, with additional initiatives planned to be rolled out over the next two years.
  • $22.9M to support new projects under the Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program, which helps prepare hard-working people for careers in the skilled trades.
  • $17.1M to continue support and enhancement of the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, which helps secondary school students who have completed Grade 10 gain experience in the skilled trades while earning credits towards their Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
  • $2.3M in the 2021-22 school year for Skills Ontario to help build awareness of the great careers in the skilled trades.

Simplifying the system

  • $12M in the Apprenticeship Development Benefit (merging the Grant for Apprentice Learning (GAL)) to streamline financial supports for apprentices expanding eligibility so that all apprentices attending full time training can apply to the same program, regardless of their Employment Insurance (EI) eligibility.
  • $126.2M in the In-Class Enhancement Fund to support Training Delivery Agents in delivering higher quality apprenticeship in-class training.
  • $24M towards the Apprenticeship Capital Grant to help Training Delivery Agents upgrade their facilities with state-of-the-art equipment.
  • $4.5M in the development of a client-facing digital system to support the skilled trades and apprenticeship system in Ontario.
  • $5.5M in the new non-repayable Tools Grant to support apprentices with the cost of tools and equipment for their trade.

Encouraging employer participation

  • Continued work with industry partners on workforce planning for major infrastructure projects through the Infrastructure Talent Accelerator (ITA) initiative, to ensure that Ontario is playing a leadership role in efforts to increase apprenticeships.
  • $23.1M in the Achievement Incentive program, to encourage skilled trades employers to train apprentices toward trade program progression, completion and certification through milestone payments.
  • $20M in the Group Sponsorship Grant, to encourage small to medium-sized employers to come together to provide a full scope of training and on-the-job mentorship for apprentices.

Skilled Trades Panel

  • In 2021-22, the Skilled Trades Panel continued to carry out its mandate.  Appointed in September 2020, the Skilled Trades Panel was appointed to provide advice and recommendations to the Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development on ways to improve and modernize the skilled trades and apprenticeship system. Its mandate had two phases:
  • In Phase One, which was completed in 2020-21, the Panel provided advice and recommendations on a new service delivery model to replace the services delivered by the Ontario College of Trades. 
  • In Phase Two, which began in April 2021, the Panel provided advice and recommendations on matters related to the prescription, classification, and training for trades. 
  • The Panel consulted widely with apprentices, tradespeople, unions, employers and trainers.
  • The Panel submitted its final Phase Two report to the Minister in Fall 2021.

The Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act, 2021

As part of this modernization framework, and based on recommendations of the Skilled Trades Panel, Ontario passed new legislation, the Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act, 2021 (BOSTA), which enabled the establishment of a Crown agency called Skilled Trades Ontario (STO) to replace the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT). BOSTA was proclaimed into force effective January 1, 2022.

The STO CEO and 11-member Board of Directors including a Board Chair were also appointed by LGIC effective January 1, 2022, and the ministry supported the initial onboarding of these appointees.

In 2021-22, the ministry began to train inspectors on the enforcement of the BOSTA. Starting in January 2022, occupational health and safety inspectors commenced education and awareness of BOSTA and the ministry’s role with enforcement of the BOSTA during health and safety field visits.

In February 2022, Ontario proposed to recognize three fuel-related professions under BOSTA, meaning Ontario will take steps to officially recognize all 55 Red Seal Trades. The Red Seal Program is a partnership between the federal government and provinces and territories that sets a common standard for apprenticeship training and certification and makes it easier for workers to move between provinces and territories.

Connecting job seekers and employers

Ontario’s employment and training programs help job seekers and workers find and keep good jobs and help employers recruit the skilled workers they need. Employment Ontario (EO) is the province’s network of employment and training programs that supports job seekers and employers. For 2021-22 fiscal year (as of end of February unless otherwise indicated):

  • Employment Service: Provided over 441,00 clients with resources, supports, and services to respond to their career and employment needs.
  • Better Jobs Ontario (formerly Second Career): Provided over 3,500 laid off, unemployed workers with an opportunity to gain new skills for jobs that are in demand in Ontario.
  • Canada-Ontario Job Grant: Provided grant funding to businesses to train over 6,900 new or current employees.
  • SkillsAdvance Ontario: A sector-focused workforce development pilot that supported partnerships between 750 employers and 60 training providers.
  • Literacy and Basic Skills Program: Helped over 39,000 adult learners build critical foundational skills such as reading, writing, numeracy, and digital skills.
  • Youth Job Connection/ Youth Job Connection Summer: Helped more than 10,200 youth to either access programs that make them more job-ready, or to be matched with a job and offered employment.
  • Supported Employment: Provided over 400 individuals who face complex barriers to employment, as a result of a disability, with the services and opportunities they need to prepare for and secure employment.
  • Ontario Bridge Training Program: Provided more than 2,900 highly-skilled internationally trained immigrants with the supports and services to achieve licensure and obtain commensurate employment in their respective field of training/expertise or a related field, in a timely manner.
  • Rapid Re-employment and Training Service: Connected workers affected by layoff or closure with the relevant and appropriate EO programs. This includes providing funds to organizations to establish an Adjustment Committee, which can recommend the establishment of an Action Centre to provide timely and appropriate labour adjustment services. In 2021-22, MLITSD has connected with nearly 5,000 workers affected by layoffs.
  • Integrated Employment Services: provided over 37,800 clients (including over 16,200 clients referred by Social Assistance) with employment services, training and supports to gain sustainable employment in prototype communities (as of March 14, 2022).
  • Skills Development Fund: Supported almost 150 projects that aim to help over 280,000 workers and job seekers.

Creating a dynamic labour market through the OINP

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) achieved its 2021 nomination allocation and issued a total of 9,000 nominations to successful applicants across 9 program streams.

The program also surpassed its 5% target for Francophone immigration, reaching 5.3% or 480 Francophone nominees. Nominees in 2021-22 came from over 130 different countries, with applicants from India and China receiving the highest number of nominations.

At least 39% of nominees already had a job offer in Ontario before nomination. More than 97% held a postsecondary degree and at least 57% had high language skills (Canadian Language Benchmark 7 or above) in at least one of Canada’s official languages.

Due to growth in the stream since its redesign in 2019, the OINP Entrepreneur Stream now has over 50 applicants operating their businesses in Ontario or who will soon be arriving. In 2021-2022 the OINP Entrepreneur Stream nominated its second entrepreneur applicant for permanent residence. A third nomination is anticipated soon. This number will only increase, as there are another 100 applications that have been received and are being evaluated.

Additionally, in December 2021 the $6M Entrepreneur Pilot was announced as part of the Fall Economic Statement, with a goal of to identifying 100 foreign entrepreneurs and matching them with business creation or purchasing opportunities in Ontario. A third-party vendor was procured to work with the Ministry to deliver the Pilot, and work commenced in April 2022.

Supporting social and economic integration of newcomers

Through the Immigration and Settlement Program, the ministry provided settlement and language training services to nearly 120,000 newcomers in 2021-22. This includes delivery of:

  • Settlement services including service navigation, information, orientation and referrals to community and government services such as education, health, housing, and employment assistance to over 73,000 newcomers;
  • Language training classes to approximately 44,000 newcomers to help them develop language skills needed to settle and find employment in Ontario; and
  • Language interpretation services to help 5,300 victims of domestic or sexual violence with language barriers access social, healthcare and legal supports.

On December 2, 2021, the Working for Workers Act, 2021 received Royal Assent, amending the Fair Access to Regulated Professions and Compulsory Trades Act, 2006 (FARPACTA) to reduce barriers such as the requirement for Canadian work experience for internationally trained individuals seeking registration with non-health regulated professions and compulsory skilled trades. The changes will help accelerate the registration of internationally trained individuals and support their full participation in Ontario’s labour market.

Preventing workplace fatalities, injuries and illness

In July 2021, the ministry launched its renewed province-wide OHS strategy called Prevention Works, which covers the timeframe 2021-2026 and builds on the successes of the past while also creating a renewed vision and foundation for the future.

In 2021-22, the Prevention Works strategy positioned the OHS system to implement evidence-informed, risk-based interventions that will help workplaces comply with OHS laws and standards and support them to achieve OHS excellence. Through Prevention Works, the OHS system is also better positioned to make OHS easier for small businesses, and address the complexities associated with occupational illnesses, work-related mental health and workplace violence and harassment to achieve the greatest impact and better OHS outcomes for Ontarians.

In 2021-22, the ministry implemented the Prevention Works strategy through a governance model that includes several steering committees with representation from across the OHS system. Examples include:

  • The System Small Business Study (SBS), where OHS system partners will hear from small businesses directly about the best ways to deliver OHS services to small businesses in relevant and cost-effective ways.
  • An opioids-and-the-workplace prevention program, which is expected to help prevent opioid-related deaths among Ontario workers in high-risk sectors.
  • A Silica Control Tool, which is expected to help workplaces assess risk and implement effective controls and safe work practices where silica dust may be an occupational hazard.
  • The continued rollout of the Funding Modernization initiative started in 2019-20 in the 2022-23 Business Planning Guidelines of Health and Safety Associations.

The ministry also made progress in performance measurement planning for the Prevention Works strategy and is on track to fully implement a system-wide performance measurement model in 2022-23.

The Health and Safety Associations (HSAs) continued to develop initiatives to improve work-related mental health. The Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) prioritized work-related mental health by directing certain HSAs to spend a minimum of 10% of their annual funding on projects that include addressing this issue.

Through the Supporting Ontario’s Safety Employers (SOSE) program, MLITSD supports employers in maintaining effective control measures throughout their organization as it relates all health and safety hazards, including COVID-19. Employers are supported through financial and non-financial incentives to help offset the cost of implementing infection control measures, which help reduce or eliminate the different health and safety hazards/risks that could be present in a workplace.

Making workplaces safer and healthier

The ministry continued their commitment of making Ontario workplaces safer and healthier. 2021-22 achievement statistics are provided below:

  • OHS Inspectors carried out 76,022 field visit activities and issued 95,847 orders and requirements.
  • The WSIB reported a Lost-Time Injury (LTI) rate for Schedule 1 employers of 1.07 in 2020. The 2021 LTI rate will be available by August 2022.
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
20160.94
20170.95
20181.00
20190.98
20201.07
  • In 2021-22 OHS inspectors conducted 76,022 field visits to 37,205 workplaces across Ontario.
  • In 2021-22, the Materials Testing Laboratory (MTL) tested 660 samples in accordance with the CSA G-4 standard.
  • In 2021-22, the Radiation Protection Services (RPS) laboratory completed two audits/inspections, collected 1,736 samples, performed 2,335 analyses in support of the Ontario Reactor Surveillance Program (ORSP) and the Ontario Drinking Water Surveillance Program (DWSP). RPS completed a total of 610 x-ray registration and x-ray installation reviews to the end of February 2022.

Protecting employees and supporting employers

In 2021-22 the Employment Standards (ES) Program remained focused on claim resolution. The Program saw lower than normal overall intake for a second consecutive year due to the global pandemic.

The Program also continued its efforts to support compliance modernization through:

  • Collaborating with other regulators such as the Ministry of Finance and police agencies to address concerns such as the underground economy and human trafficking.
  • Implementing legislative changes to the Employment Standards Act and its regulations, including publishing and promoting awareness of resources.
  • Supporting employers in complying with the ESA through educational presentations and webinars and providing ongoing education, targeted outreach, and awareness campaigns (including social media and email marketing).

Working for workers

The Ontario government released recommendations from the Ontario Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee (OWRAC) on making the province the best place to live, work and raise a family. The committee delivered their interim report in the summer 2021, which led to the passing of novel employment standards provisions in Canada through the Working for Workers Act, 2021, including requiring larger employers to have a written policy on disconnecting from work, requiring the owner of a workplace to provide access to a washroom to workers making deliveries to or from their workplace, banning businesses from using non-compete agreements, and making it easier for internationally-trained individuals to practice in their professions. The Act also included provisions for a licensing framework for temporary help agencies and recruiters.

In April 2022 the Legislature passed the Working for Workers Act, 2022 which included foundational rights and protections for people who provide ride-share, delivery, or courier services through digital platforms; a requirement for larger employers to have policies on how they are monitoring their workers electronically; a requirement that workplaces with a risk of a worker opioid overdose have naloxone kits on site; the highest occupational health and safety fines in Canada for businesses that fail to keep workers safe; changes making it easier for out-of-province workers to move here with their families and grow our economy for everyone; improved job protection leave for military reservists, to ensure their day jobs will be waiting for them when they return home.

The ministry is working for workers, by appointing five experts to the new Portable Benefits Advisory Panel to provide advice on expanding benefits like health, dental and vision care to more workers, even if they change jobs. The panel members represent a variety of sectors, including the perspective of those who do not currently have benefits. They have expertise in financial, legal, and labour issues and experience in the structure and administration of benefit plans.

As part of its plan to grow an economy that works for everyone, and to acknowledge the essential services that many minimum wage workers provide, the Ontario government raised the general minimum wage to $15.00 per hour in 2021-22. As of January 1, 2022, the following wages were in place in Ontario:

  • General minimum wage workers are now earning $15.00 per hour, a raise from $14.35.
  • The special liquor servers minimum wage was removed, and liquor servers who had been earning minimum wage received a pay raise from $12.55 to $15.00 per hour.
  • Students under the age of 18 who work 28 hours a week or less when school is in session or work during a school break or summer holidays, had their pay raised from $13.50 to $14.10 per hour.
  • Homeworkers (those who do paid work out of their own homes for employers) had their pay raised from $15.80 to $16.50 per hour.
  • Hunting, fishing, and wilderness guides had their pay raised from $71.75 to $75.00 when working less than five consecutive hours in a day, and $143.55 to $150.05 when working five or more hours in a day.

Supporting employers

In 2021-22, the government announced that the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) would be distributing up to $1.5 billion of WSIB surplus funds from its Insurance Fund to safe employers. This surplus rebate is expected to provide 300,000 businesses back approximately 30 per cent of their annual premium payments, helping create new jobs and allowing for higher paycheques for workers. This builds on the government’s $2.4 billion that has already been given back to employers through premium reductions, while maintaining benefits for injured workers.

Safe employers received their surplus rebates as of April 2022.

Creating and maintaining a stable labour relations environment

In the 2021-22 fiscal year, MLITSD continued to modernize labour relations services to align with the government’s commitment to digitization by making it simpler and easier to access neutral collective bargaining information on Collective Bargaining Ontario. 2021-22 achievement statistics are provided below:

  • In 2021-22, the ministry assisted bargaining parties in response to approximately 2,160 conciliation and mediation files. Of all settlements in the 2021-22 fiscal year, 98% 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
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
2020-202199.0
2021-202298.0
  • There was a 107% increase in the incidence of strikes and lock-outs when compared year over year. The increase was mainly due to the work stoppages in the mining, air transportation, manufacturing, as well as repair and maintenance sectors.
  • Approximately 1,400 collective agreements were ratified in 2021-22, concentrated in the health and social services, public administration, education, trade, transportation, and utilities sectors.
  • The ministry made approximately 450 appointments to arbitrators to settle both grievance and interest arbitration disputes where the parties were unable to agree on their own. Approximately 11% were the result of COVID-19 related grievances in 2021-2022.
  • The ministry provided dispute resolution assistance in response to more than 1,600 new requests for arbitration, while closing or completing more than 2350 arbitration files. The Collective Bargaining Highlights report was accessed over 2,300 times and the Collective Bargaining Expiries report was accessed over 655 times.

The ministry continued promoting the use of one of its Digital First platforms, eRequests, to enable the remote work force to provide seamless service delivery by enabling 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 2,000 applications have been submitted using eRequests in 2021-22, which represents approximately 75% of the application volumes.

In consultation with construction industry stakeholders, the ministry developed a user-friendly instructional guide for that sector to facilitate their transition from a paper-based process to digital technologies when applying for conciliation and arbitration services.

Table 3: Ministry interim actual expenditures 2021-22
Departmental resourcesMinistry interim actual expenditures 2021-22 footnote 5
COVID‑19 Approvals ($M)480.2
Other Operating ($M)1,566.8
Capital ($M)9.8
Staff Strengthfootnote 6
(as of March 31, 2022)
2,520.91

Acts administered by the ministry: 2021–22

  • Ambulance Services Collective Bargaining Act, 2001
  • Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act, 2021
  • 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
  • Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, Part IX (Firefighters: Employment and Labour Relations)
  • Front-line and Essential Service Worker Week Act, 2021
  • Government Contract Wages Act, 2018
  • Hospital Labour Disputes Arbitration Act
  • Labour Relations Act, 1995
  • Ministry of Labour Act
  • Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act, in respect of training and skills development
  • Modernizing the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2019
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • Occupational Safety and Health Day Act, 2021
  • Ontario Immigration Act, 2015
  • 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, Immigration, 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.

O.Reg. 279/99 (Ontario Immigrant Investor Corporation) made under the Development Corporations Act

  • Note MLITSD has not received any responsibilities under other parts of the Development and Corporations Act

"Back to work" Acts administered by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, 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