Ontario Ensuring Workplaces are Accessible by Launching Compliance Audits
Province Takes Another Step Towards an Accessible Ontario by 2025
Ontario is conducting targeted audits of retail companies with 500 or more employees to ensure workplaces and employee practices are accessible during a three-month audit blitz this fall.
The Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure is leading the audits, with the goal of ensuring that employers are making accessibility a regular part of recruiting and supporting employees with disabilities.
The ministry will check that large retailers meet requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), including:
- Creating and making public a multi-year accessibility plan that outlines the steps put in place to remove and prevent barriers for employees and customers.
- Developing customized emergency plans for employees with disabilities.
The province has made resources available and worked with organizations to help ensure workplaces are accessible, and will continue to support businesses in these efforts going forward. Many of these resources were developed in collaboration with employers.
The results of the audits will be available in Ontario's annual compliance and enforcement plan. Compliance with the AODA is an essential part of the government's goal of an accessible Ontario by 2025.
Supporting an accessible province is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up. The plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- One in seven people in Ontario has a disability.
- Ontario has five accessibility standards: customer service, employment, information and communications, transportation and design of public spaces.
- Organizations that fail to comply could face inspections, notices of order, director’s orders and prosecution. Penalties for not complying with the AODA range from $500 to $15,000 for corporations.
- Resources and support to help you meet requirements before January 1, 2016 are available at www.Ontario.ca/accessibility
“I am excited by the progress Ontario has made towards its goal of becoming an accessible province by 2025. But it’s clear we still have work to do, so we’re working to increase awareness among businesses and provide them with the resources and support they need to comply. For those who continue to fail to comply, we will take steps to enforce the law. We all have a role to play in embracing accessibility and promoting a cultural shift in Ontario so that it becomes embedded in everything we do and is recognized for what it is — an essential part of our future economic competitiveness in a dynamic economy and an inclusive society.”