As of January 1, 2017, several new requirements have taken effect under the disability law regime in Ontario. The Integrated Accessibility Standards (IAS) made under the Accessibility of Ontarians with a Disability Act (AODA) sets out a comprehensive framework for business in Ontario to ensure the accessibility for employees and customers.
Since 2012, employers have had to establish policies and practices to accommodate employees with a disability. As of this month, even the smallest employers will have to implement an additional round of the complex requirements set out in the IAS.
In addition to all AODA requirements already in place, effective January 1, 2017, Ontario workplaces must comply as follows:
- 1-19 employees:
- Make public information accessible when asked; and
- Make public employment practices accessible, including how you hire, retain and provide career development opportunities to employees. This would include adding a notification in job advertisements and on job postings.
- 20-49 employees:
- The same as above, plus file an Accessibility Compliance Report by December 31, 2017.
- 50+ employees:
- The above have been in place since at least January 1, 2016. An additional requirement for large employers is to make new or redeveloped public spaces accessible, including parking lots, public outdoor paths of travel, service counters, fixed waiting lines and waiting areas with fixed seating; and
- File an Accessibility Compliance Report by December 31, 2017.
The IAS requirements are specific and detailed. The Ontario government provides useful summaries and tools on its Accessibility website, and we are here to help should your business have any questions about the layers of detail and best practices for implementation of the new round of compliance requirements.