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Changes to Employment Law in Ontario

The Ford Government rolled back a number of employment standards changes that were implemented by the previous Liberal government when in power. These changes were codified in Bill 47 – Making Ontario Open for Business Act. The Bill received royal assent in October 2018. The Bill makes many changes – those pertinent to the Employment Standards Act are highlighted as follows:

-Minimum wage hike freeze – Bill 47 cancels the legislated hike of the general minimum wage from $14 an hour to $15 an hour effective January 1, 2019, instead freezing the minimum wage at $14 an hour until October 1, 2020, at which point it will be adjusted annually by the rate of inflation;

-Removes the entitlement to Personal Emergency Leave (PEL), which currently provides employees with ten days annually of leave (the first two of which are paid) to attend to personal or family illness or other urgent matters, and substitutes for it three unpaid sick days, three unpaid family responsibility leave days, and two unpaid bereavement leave days;

-Eliminates the right to equal pay for part-time, contract, temporary, and temporary help agency workers;

-Scraps a provision introduced in Bill 148 that puts the burden on an employer to prove that a worker is an independent contractor rather than an employee;

-Maintains existing vacation entitlements, including three weeks of vacation for employees with five or more years of service, and maintains domestic and sexual violence leave;

For more information on your employment law obligations in Toronto related to the employment standards act or otherwise, contact Goldstein Law Firm. We are an employment law firm based in Toronto that specializes in assisting employees to enforce their rights against employers, specifically related to wrongful dismissals and terminations, severance package reviews and negotiations, and related matters.

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