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Bill 148 – Changes to Ontario Employment Laws

On November 22, 2017, Bill 148 – Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 passed in Ontario, making a number of changes to our provinces employment laws. Some of the changes will be detailed below and for more information on complying with your obligations under the new regime, please contact our law firm for a consultation.

Minimum wage – as has been highly documented in the press, the minimum wage in Ontario increased to $14.00 on January 1, 2018, to increase to $15.00 on January 1, 2019.

Equal Pay for Equal Work – employers will be required to pay casual/part-time/seasonal workers the same rate for the same work as produced by full-time employees. Part-time workers who believe they are not being compensated appropriately have the right and the employer has the reciprocal obligation to investigate and adjust the employees pay rate accordingly.

Scheduling – employees can request a schedule or location change once working for three months, without being penalized and can refuse shifts if the employer asks them to work with less than 96 hours’ notice.

Vacation – employers with 5+ years of service are now entitled to three (3) weeks of paid vacation.

Personal Emergency Leave – All employers are required to give employees up to 10 unpaid personal emergency leave days each year due to illness, injury, or another emergency. Two of these days must be paid.

A number of other changes to the legislation have been implemented. If you are an employer in Ontario, you will have to make changes to your payroll practices and workplace policies – as such, kindly contact an employer lawyer to advise of your rights and obligations under the new regime.

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