On Tuesday afternoon, the Ford government tabled legislation Bill 47 – Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018 which will repeal some of the recent changes to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 and eliminate new statutory obligations that are scheduled to be imposed on employers on January 1, 2019.
Although Bill 47 must go through the legislative process, the Ford government has a majority of seats in the Ontario legislature so I expect the changes will take effect on January 1, 2019 when many of the Bill 148 changes are scheduled to become law.
The two paid personal emergency leave days that were introduced by the Wynne government in the past year will be eliminated.
The public holiday pay calculation for part-time employees that was in effect before Bill 148 will become law again.
Equal pay for equal work for substantially the same work regardless of employment status will be repealed. So there will generally be no obligation to pay part-time employees the same rate as full-time employees for performing substantially the same work.
The prohibition for asking an employee for a doctor’s note to prove sickness will be repealed.
The presumption that a person is an employee as opposed to an independent contractor if an individual claims he or she is an employee will be eliminated.
Pending laws that will not take effect
The minimum wage will not increase to $ 15 per hour on January 1, 2019, as scheduled, and there will be no cost of living increase in the minimum wage until October 2020.
The new scheduling rules will not take effect.
The new on call pay rules will not take effect.
An employee’s right to request changes in work hours or work location will not take effect.
An employee’s right to refuse scheduling changes with less than 4 days notice will not take effect.
The requirement to provide an employee with 3 hours pay if a shift is cancelled with less than 48 hours will not take effect.
Changes to the Employment Standards Act
The ten days personal emergency leave will be eliminated under Bill 47 and replaced with three days Sick Leave, three days Family Responsibility Leave, and two days Bereavement Leave for a total of eight days. These eight days are unpaid.
Bill 47 also includes changes to the Labour Relations Act, and the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act.
A bill is often sent to a committee after Second Reading and Bill 47 could change after that process, but I doubt there will be any changes to this bill. But stay tuned; I will provide updates on this proposed employment law as we get closer to January 1, 2019.
For almost 30 years, Doug MacLeod of the MacLeod Law Firm has been advising employers on all aspects of the employment relationship. If you have any questions, you can contact him directly at 416-317-9894 or at [email protected]
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