Retail companies in Ontario with 500 or more employees should start preparing for provincial compliance audits related to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
During a three-month period beginning this fall, audits will target workplaces and employee practices to ensure that employers are making accessibility a regular part of recruiting and supporting employees with disabilities. This initiative is part of the government’s goal of an accessible Ontario by 2025.
Large retailers must meet requirements under 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. Secondly, retailers must develop customized emergency plans for employees with disabilities.
Resources can be accessed on the government website. Non-compliance could result in inspections, notices of order and director’s orders and prosecution. Penalties range from $500 to $15,000 for corporations.