On Nov. 21, the Progressive Conservatives fulfilled their promise to pass Bill 47, the Making Ontario Open for Business Act. This new labour legislation rolls back many changes that were introduced by the previous Liberal government under Bill 148.

The Making Ontario Open for Business Act will come into force on Jan. 1, 2019. But until then, all changes to the Employment Standards Act that already came into force under Bill 148 will remain in effect. For example, employees are still entitled to two paid and eight unpaid personal emergency leave days until the end of 2018.

Below is a breakdown of all the rules that will remain in place for the remainder of 2018, and all the changes that will take effect starting Jan. 1, 2019 under the new labour legislation in Ontario.

 

Minimum Wage

Until the end of 2018:

  • The minimum wage will remain at $14 per hour.

As of Jan. 1, 2019:

  • The minimum wage will remain at $14 per hour (instead of increasing to $15 per hour).
  • The minimum wage will increase according to annual inflationary adjustments starting Oct. 1, 2020.

 

Personal Emergency Leave

Until the end of 2018:

  • Employees are entitled to 10 personal emergency leave days, with the first two days paid.
  • Employers cannot require employees to provide a note from a doctor or other qualified health practitioner.

As of Jan. 1, 2019:

  • Employees will be entitled to the following eight unpaid leave days: three sick leave days, three family responsibility leave days, and two bereavement leave days.
  • Employers will no longer be prohibited from requiring employees to provide a note from a doctor or other qualified health practitioner.

 

Scheduling

The following changes were previously scheduled under Bill 148 to come into force as of Jan. 1, 2019, but will no longer come into force due to Bill 47:

  • When an employer cancels the shift of an employee within 48 hours of when the shift was to begin, the employee must be paid for three hours.
  • An employee is entitled to a minimum of three hours’ pay for being on-call if the employee is available to work but is not called in to work, or works less than three hours.
  • An employee has the right to request scheduling or work location changes after being employed for at least three months.
  • An employee has a right to refuse work or on-call requests made with less than 96 hours of notice.

The following rule, which is already in place, will remain in effect as of Jan. 1, 2019:

  • When an employee who regularly works more than three hours per shift is required to report to work, but works less than three hours, the employee must be paid for three hours.

 

Public Holiday Pay

On Jan. 1, 2018:

  • New formula for calculating public holiday pay under Bill 148 = total amount of regular wages earned in pay period immediately preceding public holiday, divided by the number of days the employee worked in that period.

As of July 1, 2018:

  • Old prorating formula re-adopted for calculating public holiday pay = 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.

As of Jan. 1, 2019:

  • Old prorating formula for calculating public holiday pay will remain in effect.

 

Vacation Pay

Until the end of 2018:

  • Three weeks of paid vacation after five years of employment.

As of Jan. 1, 2019:

  • No change.

 

Equal Pay for Equal Work

Until the end of 2018:

  • Pay differentials based on “difference in employment status” are prohibited (e.g., part-time vs. full-time; temporary vs. indefinite) or for temporary help agency workers.

As of Jan. 1, 2019:

  • Prohibitions against pay differentials based on “difference in employment status” will be repealed.

 

Domestic or Sexual Violence Leave

Until the end of 2018:

  • Employees have the right to up to 10 days and up to 15 weeks of leave in a calendar year if they or a child of theirs has experienced or been threatened with domestic or sexual violence, with the first five days paid and the remaining days unpaid.

As of Jan. 1, 2019:

  • No change.

 

Misclassification

Until the end of 2018:

  • Misclassifying an employee is specifically prohibited — in the case of a dispute, the onus is on the employer to establish that the complainant is not an employee.

As of Jan. 1, 2019:

  • Misclassifying an employee is still specifically prohibited — but in the case of a dispute, the onus is on the complainant to establish that they are an employee.

 

Related Employer

Until the end of 2018:

  • Separate legal entities are treated as one employer if “associated or related activities or businesses” are carried on through multiple entities.

As of Jan. 1, 2019:

  • No change.

 

Questions or Concerns About the New Labour Legislation?

If you have any questions or concerns about what the new labour legislation in Ontario will mean for your business, please do not hesitate to get in touch with James Rilett, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Central Canada, at jrilett@restaurantscanada.org or 1-800-387-5649 ext. 4241.

 

 

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