Bill 149, the Working for Workers Four Act, 2024: Seven Tips to Get Your Business Ready

*This article is general in nature. It does not capture all the changes proposed in Bill 149 and must not be interpreted as providing legal advice or guidance.


Bill 149, the Working for Workers Four Act, 2024, received royal assent on March 21, 2024. This Act will bring about a number of changes to how employers engage with both potential and actual employees. The Act changes the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA),the Digital Platform Workers’ Rights Act, 2022, the Fair Access to Regulated Professions and Compulsory Trades Act, 2006, and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

The changes come into force at different times (see Working for Workers Four Act, 2023 Receives Royal Assent for details).

Set out below are seven tips to help your business prepare for some of the key changes, as well as links to articles that provide more detail on the Act and the other changes it introduces.

Seven Tips to Help You Prepare

Once the relevant changes take effect, the Act will require publicly advertised job postings to

  1. include information about the expected compensation or range of expected compensation for the position (unless the posting meets criteria that may be prescribed).
    1. include a statement disclosing the use of artificial intelligence (AI) if AI is used to screen, assess, or select applicants (unless the posting meets criteria that may be prescribed).
    1. be retained for 3 years after access to the general public has been removed (associated application forms must be similarly retained).

Tip #1
Review your job posting templates now to be ready to include the expected compensation or compensation range. As it remains to be seen how the phrase “range of expected compensation” will be defined or interpreted, businesses that plan to post a range of expected compensation are encouraged to monitor this issue.

Tip #2
If your business does not currently disclose compensation or compensation range information, consider the impact that posting such information may have on your existing workforce. Are some employees who are in a role similar to one that may be posted being paid below or near the minimum of the range? Will some employees in different roles be surprised at how high the compensation is for other roles and want to leave their existing role for the posted role? What effect will greater transparency have on the likelihood that some of the business’s employees will seek employment elsewhere? Addressing any potential inconsistencies and risks as early as possible may save your business from situations that could negatively impact employee morale or retention.

Tip #3
Review your current practices regarding the use of AI, with an expert if possible. If you use software to screen, assess, or select applicants, as many employers may, ensure that you become knowledgeable about whether that software uses AI. Be prepared to disclose the use of AI in your job postings and consider how you will answer questions that may arise about how AI is used. If there are any concerns about whether bias might affect the AI, take steps immediately to cure those concerns. As this area of law is relatively new, and clarifications and further developments are possible, it may be prudent to gain an understanding of all HR processes that may use AI—such as AI that may be used in the marketing and promotion of job postings, in applicant surveys, etc.

Tip #4
Review your document retention policy. Consider adjusting your policy now so that you are ready when the change comes into effect. Also, don’t forget to ensure that your actual practices comply with your policy!

Once the relevant changes take effect, the Act will prohibit publicly advertised job postings and any associated application form from including any requirements related to Canadian experience (unless the posting meets criteria that may be prescribed).

Tip #5
Review any job posting templates that may include a Canadian experience requirement and ensure that hiring managers are aware as soon as possible of the pending prohibition. If some hiring managers have concerns about the change, consider hosting an internal webinar to describe the steps the business takes to ensure that all candidates selected for a role have the necessary knowledge and skills.

The Act makes it clear that (a) the meaning of “training” in the definition of “employee” in the ESA includes work performed during a “trial” period (one effect of which is that unpaid “trial” shifts are prohibited); and (b) wages cannot be withheld or reduced where a customer of a restaurant, gas station, or other establishment leaves without paying.

Tip #6
If the business is not paying for “trial” shifts or if the business is withholding employee wages for “dine and dash,” “gas and dash,” and similar situations, seek legal advice.

Once the relevant changes take effect, the Act will specify permitted methods of paying tips and other gratuities and introduce a requirement related to the posting and retention of a tip policy where the employer, or a director or shareholder of the employer, shares in tips or gratuities under s. 14.4(1) of the ESA.

Tip #7
Take this opportunity to review both existing and pending tip-related requirements as well as your tip-sharing practices and policies to ensure your business’s compliance.

Relevant Links

This article must not be interpreted as providing legal advice or guidance. Readers should not make any decisions or changes based on this article. Readers are encouraged to consult legal counsel for advice.