Ontario law will guarantee access to restrooms for delivery workers

The days when delivery men would get angry when trying to use the bathroom in a restaurant or office will soon be gone.

Labor Minister Mount McNaughton is introducing a new law to ensure that truckers and couriers, including those from food services like Uber Eats, can use company bathrooms at Ontario businesses where they pick up or deliver goods.

“This is a big problem. It is something that most people in Ontario take for granted, but access to toilets is a matter of common decency that is currently denied to hundreds of thousands of workers in this province,” he said. McNaughton.

The legislation is the first of its kind in Canada, the minister said in an interview on Tuesday, and is more extensive than a law of the state of New York That applies only to concert workers and not to truckers or couriers.

“Truckers, couriers and food delivery people have been denied access to toilets for too long. They are frontline heroes who helped us all during the pandemic, ”he said, noting that workers“ raised this as a health and safety issue ”during consultations on labor reforms.

McNaughton said the recommendation was something he heard repeatedly during hearings held by the government’s “workforce recovery advisory committee” that is looking for ways to help workers as Ontario emerges from COVID-19.

“Providing access to restrooms to these hardworking men and women is a small change that will make a big difference, so that they can do their jobs with the dignity and respect they deserve,” he said.

As of last year, there were 203,700 people in Ontario working as truck, bus, taxi and delivery drivers and 30,800 couriers, messengers and mail dispatchers.

The reforms only apply to businesses where workers pick up or deliver items, not private homes or other offices and restaurants that are not involved in transactions.

It is also designed to help federally regulated workers, such as Canada Post carriers, access toilets at provincial regulated workplaces.

In a statement, Stephen Laskowski, president and CEO of the Ontario Trucking Association, welcomed the changes.

The new legislation “recognizes our drivers for the true heroes that they are and encourages everyone in the supply chain to do their part to treat drivers with respect,” Laskowski said.

After COVID-19 struck in March 2020, the government opened more rest stops for truckers, some of whom were prohibited by companies from using the facilities.

At the beginning of the pandemic, health restrictions meant that drivers lost use of restrooms and dining room service at gas stations and restaurants across Canada.

Robert Benzie is the bureau chief for Star’s Queen’s Park and a reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robertbenzie


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