March 25, 2023


Equality opinion

Sexual Abuse Legislation for Ontario Colleges and Universities Carries on Second Reading

Sexual Abuse Legislation for Ontario Colleges and Universities Carries on Second Reading


On November 14, 2022, Bill 26 – Strengthening Submit-secondary Establishments and Students Act, 2022, passed second reading in the Ontario legislature. If passed, Monthly bill 26 will be efficient on July 1, 2023, and will renovate how post-secondary institutions and private occupation faculties address sexual misconduct by college and team.

Bill 26’s vital modifications will be:

  • Sexual misconduct will be outlined as: (a) bodily sexual relations with a student, such as touching of sexual nature or behaviour or remarks of a sexual mother nature towards a university student, or (b) reprisals or threat of reprisal for rejection of sexual solicitation and advances. The definition of sexual misconduct also encompasses acts that represent an offence under the Criminal Code, functions that infringe the suitable to be free from a sexual solicitation or advance below the Human Rights Code, and functions that contravene an institution’s sexual abuse and misconduct policies. This adjust will entail changing the phrase “sexual abuse” with “sexual misconduct” in Ontario’s Ministry of Schooling, Faculties and Universities Act.
  • It would allow an institution to discharge and self-discipline an staff for an act of sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct will constitute just lead to for all disciplinary purposes, and the staff would not be entitled to discover of termination, termination shell out, or any other kind of payment or restitution. An adjudicator simply cannot substitute the penalty imposed by the establishment.
  • It would prevent an institution from rehiring an staff who was discharged or who resigned just after they ended up uncovered to have fully commited sexual misconduct.
  • It would avert institutions from coming into into agreements, including collective agreements or settlement agreements, which preclude the institution from disclosing that an allegation has been built that an worker of the establishment fully commited an act of sexual misconduct towards a scholar of the institution. The Bill’s most current variation supplies for an exception to this prohibition in cases exactly where a scholar requests a non-disclosure settlement and: (a) the pupil had an possibility to obtain independent authorized tips, (b) there have been no undue tries to influence the university student with respect to the ask for, (c) the settlement includes an option for the university student to waive their possess confidentiality in the future and the approach for undertaking so, and (d) the settlement is of a established and limited period.
  • It would require all institutions to have an worker sexual misconduct policy, no matter if a standalone coverage or as section of a different plan. This policy must specify the institution’s regulations about sexual conduct between staff members and pupils. It need to also include things like examples of potential disciplinary measures. The plan may well specify what sort of conduct quantities to sexual misconduct.

Key details

Bill 26 will have critical implications for submit-secondary establishments and private career schools in Ontario. They will have to evaluation and alter their procedures to be certain compliance with the new provisions. The Monthly bill will also impact their solution to personnel willpower and discharge for sexual misconduct, and how this sort of situations are litigated. Subsequent the proposed changes, the only problem in any ensuing litigation would be regardless of whether the institution has established sexual misconduct.

If you have any queries, remember to speak to a member of our team.

Specific many thanks to Anton Rizor for his help with this weblog.