Greetings from your Regional Director

ON Government announce Bill 47 to repeal provisions of Bill 148 - Minimum Wage Increase

Dramatic changes to minimum wage came into effect January 1, 2018 which included:

  • minimum wage is now $14/hr
  • part-time workers to be paid the same hourly wage as full-time workers
  • paid sick days introduced for every worker and stepping up of enforcement of employment law

​UPDATE

On October 23, 2018, the Ontario government introduced Bill 47, Making Ontario Open For Business Act, 2018, to repeal numerous provisions of the previous government’s Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (Bill 148). 

At this time, employers should not take action to update their policies or practices to reflect Bill 47. Even if Bill 47 comes into force, employers should approach any future changes to Bill 148 entitlements with caution. The employer will be at risk of a constructive dismissal claim if it did not preserve the right to change the entitlement to correspond with its legal obligations. Legal advice should be obtained before any changes are made that would reverse or reduce Bill 148 entitlements.

Bill 47, if implemented, would amend the Employment Standards Act (ESA) as follows:

  • Minimum wage would remain at $14 per hour (instead of increasing to $15 per hour on January 1, 2019). Annual adjustments to the minimum wage tied to inflation would restart as of October 1, 2020.
  • Several scheduling provisions that were slated to come into force on January 1, 2019 would be repealed:
    • the right to request changes to scheduling after an employee has been employed for at least 3 months;
    • minimum 3 hours of pay for being on-call;
    • the right to refuse requests to work or be on-call where the employee was not scheduled with less than 96 hours’ notice;
    • 3 hours of pay where a scheduled or on-call shift is canceled within 48 hours before the shift was to begin; and
    • record-keeping requirements associated with these scheduling provisions.
  • Current personal emergency leave entitlements would be replaced with a package of annual leave days for workers employed for at least 2 consecutive weeks, comprised of up to 3 days of personal illness, 2 days for bereavement and 3 days for family responsibilities.
  • Employers would be permitted to require evidence of entitlement to leave that is reasonable in the circumstances, including asking employees to provide a medical note from a qualified health practitioner.
  • The prorating public holiday pay formula would be re-adopted, e.g., public holiday pay will be calculated as the total amount of regular wages earned and vacation pay payable to the employee in the four work weeks before the work week in which the public holiday occurred, divided by 20.
  • Employees would no longer be entitled to equal pay for equal work on the basis of a “difference in employment status” (e.g., part-time vs full-time; temporary vs. indefinite) and the related equal pay provisions for temporary help agency employees would also be eliminated.
  • The government has indicated that the following changes to the ESA that were introduced under Bill 148 will not be repealed:
  • previous minimum wage increases;
  • the 3-hour rule, insofar as employers are required to pay employees for 3 hours of work, where an employee who regularly works more than 3 hours a day is required to report to work, but works less than 3 hours;
  • 3 weeks of paid vacation after 5 years of employment; and
  • leave entitlements in the case of domestic or sexual violence.

Sincerely,



Blair Breen
Regional Director

Direct: (416) 896-2697
Toll Free: (866) 626-4262 ext. 49

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