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Ontario’s ‘Disconnecting From Work’ Policy and Manitoba’s New Accessibility Requirements – Deadlines Approaching

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

Employers in Ontario and Manitoba have important compliance deadlines in May and June 2022.

In Manitoba, effective as of May 1, 2022, employers must comply with the new Accessibility Standard for Employment. In the case of larger employers (defined as those with fifty or more employees in Manitoba), this means having a written policy in place to ensure compliance with those standards.

Ontario employers with twenty-five or more employees have thirty days to prepare and give to employees a policy on ‘disconnecting from work’ as required by the Working for Workers Act, 2021. This requirement comes into effect on June 2, 2022. The Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development has published general guidance on what these policies should contain; however, the content of the policy is largely left to the discretion of individual employers.

How to Be a More Accessible Employer

With eyes set firmly on a return to offices, is it time for HR leaders to look at their inclusivity? BY Emily Douglas 20 Apr 2022

As offices begin to tentatively re-open, and employers consider a more hybrid approach to work, questions around inclusivity, accessibility, and disability policies are coming to light. And, according to recent research, HR leaders ignore these priorities at their own peril.

Data from the Institute of Corporate Productivity found three in four businesses ranked employees with disabilities to be just as good or even better than their co-workers. What’s more, McKinsey and Company’s research highlighted that companies that hire diverse and differently-abled workers enjoy increased revenues of up to 35%.

Call for Proposals Launched to Improve the Participation and Social Inclusion of Persons With Disabilities Across Canada

By Employment and Social Development Canada
Mar 28, 2022

GATINEAU, QC , March 28, 2022 /CNW/ – Canada’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic must leave no one behind, including the one in five Canadians who identify as having a disability. That is why the Government of Canada is working with partners from the disability community to address barriers to accessibility and inclusion, so that every Canadian can fully participate in all aspects of society.

Today, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, launched a competitive call for proposals for national operating funding through the Social Development Partnership Program Disability (SDPP-D) component.

How Entrepreneurs With Disabilities are Making Their Own Space in the Business World

PUBLISHED March 8, 2022

Toronto-based entrepreneur Eyra Abraham founded Lisnen, a mobile app that allows users to receive notifications of critical sounds like fire alarms and sirens.

This article is part of a package produced by the Globe Women’s Collective around International Women’s Day and this year’s theme of #BreakTheBias

Eyra Abraham felt the call to entrepreneurship like an alarm ringing in the middle of the night. More specifically, one that she couldn’t hear – with potentially life-threatening consequences.

4 Reasons Why Businesses Should Care About Disability Issues

Andrew Pulrang
Feb 21, 2022,12:47pm EST|112 views

Disability issues like accessibility, equal service, and employment rights are important to disabled people. But are they really important to anyone else?

Businesses are legally required to follow the Americans with Disabilities Act, state civil rights laws, and sometimes local accessibility standards as well. But there are ways to “comply” with these laws and regulations with only minimal attention and care. And too many businesses still tend to think of accessibility and disability accommodations as semi-voluntary “good deeds.”

The Rise In Telework During The Pandemic, An Opportunity For Accessibility And Inclusion

Debra RuhForbes Councils Member

Focusing on inclusion and diversity is more important than ever during a crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic.

Throughout the pandemic, many were forced to socially isolate and physically distance themselves in order to limit the spread of the pathogen. Nations went into an economic recession, and millions lost their jobs. We saw people unable to work, and businesses closed.

People who have disabilities faced and continue to face unique challenges during a time like this, including inequality of support and a lack of access to information and communication technology. Accessibility can improve the lives of millions of people who have disabilities. This current inequality requires governments, decision-makers and organizations to start accelerating a digital transformation and expand the range of services for people who have disabilities for accessibility and digital inclusion.

Accessible Hiring Practices to Solve for The Great Resignation

January 19, 2022
Meagan Taylor

Meagan Taylor, a project manager at Deque Systems, is passionate about dismantling systemic barriers to capital and opportunity, including on the web.

Employees across industries are quitting their jobs. One recent study reported that one in four people quit their job this year. Whether we want to chalk it up to career moves that were delayed due to the uncertain pandemic economy, a reevaluation of work environments, or a revolt against unsatisfactory employers, one thing is certain: It’s a job seeker’s market, with more than 10 million job openings as of November.

Remote Work Increases Accessibility, Widens Talent Pool

The shift to remote work has meant tools once pitched as “reasonable accommodations” for people with disabilities are now mainstream. That opens up a previously underutilized hiring group for state and local government.

One million people with disabilities lost their jobs as the pandemic took hold in 2020. That’s one of the major negative impacts that lockdowns and the general economic downturn had on the disabled community. For a sense of scale, there are 1.9 million individuals with disabilities of working age (18 to 64) in just the state of California alone.

But there’s much more to it.

Opinion: The World Should Not Fall Into Its Old Ableist Habits as Covid Re-Openings Continue

Matt McCann says despite the challenges of Covid, some welcome changes have come for those with disabilities and those changes should not be lost. Matt McCann (Ireland), November7, 2021

COVID-19 HAS CHANGED the way the world works in numerous and dramatic ways. Since taking to the world stage, this virus has asserted itself and created a universal social disability for everyone, individuals, businesses and nations alike. It has, invariably, changed us all.

One positive note that this global pandemic has revealed, however, is that nothing is impossible for humanity when given the proper amount of focus, intention and support.

How The Labor Market Has Changed For People With Disabilities

Paula MorganContributor

The Labor Market Has Changed for People with Disabilities PEXELS
Even during the best times, men and women with disabilities experience challenges finding and keeping jobs. These challenges can range from insufficient workplace accommodations to difficulty getting transportation and even negative attitudes from managers and coworkers regarding their disability.

Despite only representing about 3 percent of the labor force, the economic fallout from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected workers with disabilities. Prior to the pandemic, individuals with disabilities were being hired for jobs faster than their counterparts without disabilities, which was welcome news that seemed to suggest a closing of the long-standing employment gap. In the first year of the pandemic, however, workers with disabilities lost nearly a million jobs – that is a 20 percent decline, compared to only a 14 percent decline among workers without disabilities.