What Employers Should Know in 2020

January 20, 2020 | Articles

Edibles Are Here

After the sweeping changes by the Liberals to the Employment Standards Act in 2017, and then the reversal of many of these changes by the PCs, 2020 is proving to be relatively low key for legislative changes.  The most impactful is that cannabis edibles are readily available as of January 1, 2020. Unlike smoking or vaping, the use of edible cannabis will be much harder to detect.  Employers should ensure they have policies that reflect recreational cannabis use including edibles and topical products that may impact an employee’s ability to fully perform the functions of their job.

Minimum Wage

There are no scheduled changes to the current $14 minimum wage at this time. Further increases may occur in October, but they will be tied to inflation.


Implementing AODA has been ongoing since 2012 with different deadlines depending upon the size and type of organization.  Although still a ways off, organizations with 20+ employees need to file an Accessibility Compliance Report by December 31, 2020, and organizations with 50+ employees also need to ensure that their websites and web content are accessible.

The beginning of the year is also a good time for a review of some annual requirements. 

Health and Safety

As part of implementing your policies on Violence, Bullying and Harassment in the workplace (under the Occupational Health and Safety Act), employers were required to conduct a risk assessment. This should be reviewed annually and any changes should be implemented and employees advised accordingly.

The beginning of the year is also a great time to ensure that all your health and safety members have their required certifications and that all your safety equipment (fire extinguishers, defibrillators, etc.) are checked and in good working order.

Employee Numbers

As a final piece, it’s good to review your current employee numbers to see if there have been triggers that may change any of your legislative requirements. Pay Equity legislation triggers at 10+ employees.  First aid requirements vary at 5, 15 and 200 employees; health and safety representatives and joint health and safety committees vary at 6, 20 and 50 employees.

The information provided above is a guide, please refer to the specific legislation for details.

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