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What is the next step in AODA compliance?

The AODA Employment Standard deadlines are not as far away as they may seem. The Employment Standard is one of five accessibility standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. It outlines accessibility requirements employers must meet throughout the employment life-cycle.

Since January 1, 2012, all employers in Ontario have had to prepare individualized workplace emergency response information for employees with disabilities. Large public sector employers have had to be compliant with the remaining requirements under the Employment Standard since January 1st of this year.

All private sector employers and small public sector employers have upcoming obligations. The next phase of Employment Standard compliance may require significant reform to policies and procedures. It is advisable that employers plan ahead. The deadlines for compliance are as follows:

Small public sector (fewer than 50 employees): January 1, 2015
Large private sector (50 employees or more): January 1, 2016
Small private sector (fewer than 50 employees): January 1, 2017

The AODA Employment Standard includes requirements at every stage of the employment relationship including recruitment, return to work, performance management, career development and redeployment.  Please have a look at our AODA resource page.

One area where the Employment Standard outlines more comprehensive requirements is with respect to documented individual accommodation plans. Employers are required to create a process for the development of individualized accommodation plans for employees with disabilities. The process must address a variety of issues including the manner in which the employee may participate in the development of the individualized accommodation plan, when an employer may request an independent medical examination, and steps that will be taken to protect the employee’s privacy. Small private sector employers are exempt from this requirement. However, it is a best practice to comply, as having a formal procedure in place will be an asset for employers when accommodation needs arise in the workplace.

At the 2014 Ontario Employment Law Conference, on June 10, employment lawyer Jessica Young, will be discussing,

  • What the AODA, Employment Standard requires of organizations in various sectors
  • The overlap between the new requirements and existing human rights and workers’ compensation obligations, and how to successfully integrate them
  • Strategies for implementing and enforcing your new policies, practices and procedures.

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn the latest! At the Ontario Employment Law conference, you will learn more about what is required under the AODA Employment Standard and strategies for compliance. Register Today!

This blog was first posted on First Reference Talks.

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