Has your organization filed its 2023 accessibility compliance report yet?
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) was enacted back in 2005 with the intention of removing barriers for people with disabilities and promoting greater accessibility in our communities and workplaces. To ensure that the obligations under the AODA aren’t forgotten or neglected, the legislation imposed a positive obligation on businesses and not-for-profit organizations with 20 or more employees to file an accessibility compliance report every three years. The next reporting deadline – December 31, 2023 – is approaching rapidly. This is a legal requirement and a failure to comply can result in financial penalties.
Does the reporting obligation apply to your organization?
Determining whether your organization has a reporting obligation requires counting your employees. While this may be a simple exercise for some, it is important to determine who and who not to include in the count. All Ontario-based contract workers, full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees count. Do not include volunteers, independent contractors, or employees outside of Ontario in the final tally. Employers with independent contractors should take care that those individuals are actually independent contractors and not improperly classed employees. Failing to submit a report as a result of an improper count that relied on independent contractor classifications to lower an organization’s total number of employees would likely result in a penalty.
If your organization has 20 or more employees then the compliance reporting obligation applies to you. All businesses and not-for-profit organizations have some obligations under the AODA, but those with 20 to 49 employees and 50 or more employees have further and greater responsibilities under the Act – which is one of the reasons why the reporting requirement exists.
The 2023 accessibility compliance report
The French and English versions of the 2023 Accessibility Compliance Reporting Form can be accessed via the province’s Central Forms Repository. If you require assistance in preparing the 2023 report – or if in preparing it, you note deficiencies in your organization’s compliance with the AODA – then it’s not too late to get some professional assistance. Major contraventions of the AODA for organizations with a contravention history can be massive – to the tune of up to $50,000.00 for an individual and up to $100,000.00 for a corporation per day. If your organization could benefit from some legal advice regarding its employment-related AODA obligations, please reach out to us today!
By Matt Chapman
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