Changes will require women’s-only washrooms and make the skilled trades more accessible for everyone
LONDON — The Ontario government is working for workers by making washrooms on construction sites private, clean and safe. There are nearly 600,000 construction workers in Ontario, but only one in 10 are women. These changes, if approved, would make the skilled trades more accessible to women by ensuring they have access to at least one women’s-only washroom on jobsites and properly fitting equipment such as uniforms, boots and safety harnesses.
“Access to a washroom is a basic human dignity and something every worker should have the right to,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Careers in construction offer six-figure salaries with pensions and benefits, and it is an injustice only 10 per cent of them are filled by women. Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government will continue to stand with these heroes. Everyone has the right to a safe and welcoming workplace.”
The government is further improving portable washrooms by requiring them to be private and completely enclosed, have adequate lighting and hand sanitizer (where running water is not reasonably possible). Additionally, the government is doubling the number of toilets on most jobsites.
“Workplaces that are safer and more equitable help increase women’s participation in the workforce,” said Charmaine Williams, Associate Minister of Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity. “Our government is taking action to remove barriers and empower women to excel in sectors where they are underrepresented – because when women succeed, Ontario succeeds.”
These changes are part of a larger package that expands on the ground-breaking actions introduced in the Working for Workers Acts, 2021 and 2022, which are already helping millions of people. These regulatory amendments are part of a comprehensive strategy to meet labour demand, bring better jobs and bigger paycheques within reach for more people, and attract and equip people to thrive in today’s world of work.
- Proposed amendments to the Construction Projects Regulation, if approved, would explicitly require that personal protective equipment (PPE) and clothing be properly fitted to women and workers with diverse body types.
- The proposed regulatory amendments, if approved and filed, would come into force on the July 1, 2023.
- Ontario’s construction sector will need to hire an additional 72,000 workers over the next six years due to retirements and expected job growth. Making these types of workplaces more inclusive to a diversity of people will be a key factor in attracting more skilled workers.
- Ontario’s More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022 is part of a strong foundation on which 1.5 million homes can be built over the next 10 years – in partnership with municipalities, the private sector, not-for-profits and the federal government.