Category: Local News
Published: Thursday, 23 November 2017 12:00
Written by Ryan Forbes
Workers across Ontario will soon be seeing changes in their workplace.
Ontario has officially passed Bill 148, the legislation that is set to raise the minimum wage to $14-an-hour on January 1, 2018, $15-an-hour on January 1, 2019, as well as expanding personal emergency leave and enforcement of employment laws. It is estimated the changes to the minimum wage outlined in Bill 148 will increase the wages of more than one quarter of Ontario workers.
“Over the past two years, we’ve heard from people across the province about the need to update our labour and employment laws,” said Minister of Labour, Kevin Flynn. “Ontario workers deserve fair wages they can live on, as well as safe and fair working conditions. Too many families struggle to get by on part-time or temporary work. Those working full-time can be living in poverty. This is unacceptable in Ontario. The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act will help ensure everyone who works hard has the chance to reach their full potential and share in Ontario’s prosperity,” he said, in a prepared release.
In May, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced several other proposed changes to workforce regulations, including:
- Part-time workers who are doing the same job as a full-time worker, will receive a mandated equal pay.
- The minimum vacation day entitlement for workers would rise to three weeks per year, following five years working for the same employer.
- Employers would be required to pay a worker for three hours if the employer cancels a shift with less than 48 hours of notice.
- All workers, part-time and full-time, would be given 10 personal emergency leave days a year. Two of those days must be paid.
- Ban employers from requiring a doctor's sick note from an employee taking personal emergency leave
- The government is also expanding family leaves and adding measures to ensure that employees are not misclassified as independent contractors, ensuring they get the benefits and protections they deserve.
To enforce these changes, the province is hiring up to 175 more employment standards officers and is launching a program to educate both employees and businesses about their rights and obligations under the Employment Standards Act, 2000.
The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 responds to the final report of the Changing Workplaces Review. It was the first-ever independent review of both the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and Labour Relations Act, 1995.
For more information:
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Wage increase ‘too fast’, Canfield
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Ontario wants public input on minimum wage
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