As per sec. 57 of the Health Professions Act (HPA), employers have a mandatory duty to report unprofessional conduct of regulated members in their employment.
If an employer terminates or suspends or the regulated member resigns, as a result of unprofessional conduct, the employer must give notice of that conduct to the Complaints Director.
The employer must provide timely written notice to the College using the Complaint Form for Employers. Please fill out the Complaint Form for Employers. When you submit your complaint, a copy will be emailed to you for your records and is your confirmation that it has been submitted to the College. (Keep for your records.)
Upon receipt of an employer report of a complaint, the College’s complaints process will be followed and the employer will become the complainant.
Section 1(1)(pp) of the HPA contains a detailed definition of unprofessional conduct.
Additionally, employers can use the College’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice in determining if conduct is unprofessional.
The College does not regulate compliance with employer policies. For example, an employee failing to wear an ID badge or not meeting employer-specified response times would not qualify as unprofessional conduct for the purposes of sec. 57 reporting.
Section 57(3) of the HPA contains a definition of employment that is much broader than the traditional definition of employment. Under this section, employment includes “being engaged to provide professional services on a full‑time or part‑time basis as a paid or unpaid employee, consultant, contractor or volunteer”. Accordingly, employment under sec. 57 does not have to involve wages, can occur in a volunteer context and includes consultants and independent contractors.
In the case of regulated healthcare providers, the Health Professions Act supersedes privacy legislation.
Section 57 does not state that an employer’s reporting obligation is conditional on union or other processes first being completed. The College believes that sec. 57 creates an “immediate” reporting obligation that is entirely separate from other processes relating to the same facts.
It is an offence for an employer to fail to provide a sec. 57(1) notice.
“Sec. 57(1) An employer who contravenes section 57 is guilty of an offence and liable
(a) for a first offence, to a fine of not more than $4,000,
(b) for a 2nd offence, to a fine of not more than $8,000, and
(c) for a 3rd and every subsequent offence, to a fine of not more than $12,000.”