In response to The Changing Workplaces Review Final Report, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced today, May 30, 2017, that the government is moving forward with a landmark package of measures to “create more opportunity and security for workers with a plan for Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs”. The package of measures include:
- Raising Ontario’s general minimum wage to $14.00 per hour on January 1, 2018, and then to $15.00 on January 1, 2019, followed by annual increases at the rate of inflation;
- Mandating equal pay for part-time, temporary, casual and seasonal employees doing the same job as full-time employees and equal pay for temporary help agency employees doing the same job as permanent employees at the agencies’ client companies;
- Expanding personal emergency leave to include an across-the-board minimum of at least two paid days per year for all workers;
- Bringing Ontario’s vacation time into line with the national average by ensuring at least three weeks’ vacation after five years with a company;
- Making employee scheduling fairer, including requiring employees to be paid for three hours of work if their shift is cancelled within 48 hours of its scheduled start time.
The Government will also propose measures to expand family leaves and make certain that employees are not misclassified as independent contractors, ensuring they get the benefits they deserve. To enforce these changes, the province will hire up to 175 more Employment Standards Officers and launch a program to educate both employees and small and medium-sized businesses about their rights and obligations under the Employment Standards Act.
The announcement from the Ontario Government can be found at:
For answers on how this impacts your company, contact Leanne Standryk, senior partner within our Labour and Employment Department. She may be reached at 905-641-1551.