Operational Updates

Last Updated: May 7, 2024

This page provides information on operational changes at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO). The HRTO continues to hold hearings by videoconference, teleconference, and in writing and in-person for accommodation purposes. All in-person service counters are closed.

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Updates to Human Rights Tribunal of Rules of Procedure: Tribunals Ontario’s Practice of Audio Recording Hearings

May 7, 2024

In July 2024, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) will begin audio recording its hearings. The audio recordings will be used for internal quality assurance purposes, in accordance with applicable legislative requirements.

The HRTO consulted on updates to its Rules of Procedure. These updates are required to support an operational change, as a result of Tribunals Ontario’s practice of audio recording hearings.

Revised Form 1 and New Form 1G

May 12, 2023

Effective May 12, 2023, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) has updated its primary intake form, Form 1: Individual Application and created a new Form 1G: Application on Behalf of Another Person(s) under Section 34(5) of the Human Rights Code.

The revised Form 1:

  • Is shorter in length
  • Uses plain language
  • Minimizes redundancy by requesting less, more relevant information
  • Clarifies that applicants should not provide certain documents unless specifically asked

The new Form 1G, for person(s) filing on behalf of another person, minimizes the need for filing multiple application forms, provides more clear language and reduces the confusion on how to file these applications.

For additional information for applicants, the HRTO revised the Applicant’s Guide.

The HRTO will continue to accept and process the older version of Form 1 until June 12, 2023. After June 12, the HRTO will no longer accept the previous version of the Form 1 and if submitted, it will be returned to the applicant or their representative.

Modified Process for Applications

February 2, 2023

The HRTO is revising its procedure for reviewing and processing files with a focus on a targeted group of applications.

Rather than completing an initial jurisdictional review before serving a Form 1 Application on respondent(s), the HRTO will serve the Form 1 Application directly to the respondent(s) and any subsequent Form 2 Response (including any Request for Early Dismissal without a Full Response) to the applicant for a Form 3 Reply. Upon receiving these documents (or expiry of deadlines for filing these documents), an adjudicator will complete a jurisdictional review followed by an outline of next steps for the parties.

This modified process will reduce delays in processing applications and scheduling first events. Parties will be more informed of the facts of the case which allows them to be fully prepared for their proceedings should the matter fall within the HRTO’s jurisdiction.

This initiative will not require changes to HRTO’s practice direction nor the rules of procedure.

Practice Direction on Jurisdiction

December 16, 2022

Effective December 16, 2022, the HRTO has posted a new Practice Direction on Jurisdiction.

Since January 2021, the HRTO implemented a protocol to review all applications to determine jurisdictional matters on a balance of probabilities early in the process. Our new practice direction defines this process.

New Tribunals Ontario and Human Rights Tribunals of Ontario Key Performance Indicators

November 14, 2022

Tribunals Ontario has implemented new Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) across all 13 of our tribunals as part of our ongoing commitment to continuous improvement and ensuring that the services we provide meet the needs of our users.

The KPIs are designed to assess the organization’s effectiveness in delivering our core business of resolving disputes in an accessible, fair, efficient, and timely manner. They are also important for public accountability and serve as a vital operational tool for strategic decision-making and driving process improvements.

We expect that over time a single set of measures will help us track and monitor performance in a consistent way and better understand how we are doing across all tribunals.

Effective April 1, 2022, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) began tracking performance against these new organizational KPIs. As a result, we have reassessed and adapted some of our pre-existing HRTO KPIs, as well as added a few new ones. The new KPIs and targets for the HRTO are as follows:

  • Volume of in-person, electronic and written hearing events held at the HRTO
  • Number of eligible accommodation requests granted (in whole or in-part) by the HRTO
  • Percentage of hearings scheduled within 180 calendar days from the date the application is ready to proceed to a hearing – target of 70 per cent
  • Percentage of mediations scheduled within 150 calendar days from the date the parties agreed to mediation – target of 70 per cent
  • Decisions issued within six months from the conclusion of a hearing – target of 70 per cent
  • Percentage of cases within the 18-month case lifecycle for HRTO – target of 70 per cent
  • Percentage of cases resolved through alternative dispute resolution (in whole or in-part) within the HRTO

To ensure openness and transparency, these new KPIs will be reported on a quarterly basis and published through updates on our website, beginning later this fiscal year.

Over the coming months we expect to introduce other measures, such as a measure related to French language services.

However, before doing so, we would like to hear your thoughts and get your feedback on the above mentioned KPIs.

Your input will help us better align our KPIs over time as we continue to modernize and improve service delivery. Over the coming months we will also work towards getting more direct feedback from you in a virtual session or if we meet with you one-on-one.

Please contact us at HRTO.Registrar@ontario.ca with your feedback by December 5, 2022.

As we move forward on this initiative, we will continue to share more information.

Mediation Offer Letter

August 9, 2022

In August 2022, the HRTO sent letters to specific parties offering the opportunity to resolve their dispute by way of mediation. Mediation is an opportunity for the parties to try to reach an agreement (settlement) to resolve the issues in the Application. This offer is available even where a previous mediation attempt was unsuccessful.

Parties are required to inform the HRTO if they consent to mediation, in writing, within 30 days from the date of the letter.

If all parties reply and do not consent to mediation, the HRTO will proceed to process the application, which may include scheduling a hearing.

If parties do not respond by the noted deadline, the HRTO will reach out to the parties a second time requesting a response, failing which the HRTO may consider the application as abandoned.

Parties are required to email their response to HRTO.mediation@ontario.ca and copy the other parties on the email.