As Ontario employers reduce their workforces and potentially look to smaller numbers of remaining employees to take on increasing workloads, February is the time to review existing excess hours agreements and permits and overtime averaging agreements and permits.
Legislation requiring permits and agreements for hours in excess of 48 in a week and in circumstances in which an employer averages hours over two or more weeks became effective in March 2004. Averaging agreements and permits must be renewed every two years. Excess hours agreements are on three year cycles. Averaging permits issued in 2007 will be up for renewal this year, while excess hours permits issued in 2006 are due for renewal this year.
Employers that applied for excess hours permits and/or averaging permits immediately upon the legislation becoming effective should be on a cycle that keeps their permits and agreements in place until 2010. But, for many employers, February of any year is a good time to review permits and agreements to ensure compliance. At a time when many employers are asking their employees to “do more for less”, it will be important to ensure compliance with the Ontario Employment Standards Act.