Employer Alert: Government Announces Proposed Changes to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act

May 30, 2017

Today the Ontario government announced that it intends to introduce several amendments to the Employment Standard Act. The changes will be included in the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017.

Here are five of the proposed changes:

Minimum Wage increased by 31.5% by January 1, 2019

The current minimum wage for most employees is $ 11.40 per hour. The government proposes increasing this rate to $ 14 on January 1, 2018 and to $ 15 per hour on January 1, 2019.

Increased Vacation Pay

This change would require an employer to provide 3 weeks paid vacation to an employee after 5 years employment. The current minimum standard is two weeks a year for all employees.

Equal Pay for Temporary Agency Workers

This change would require employers to pay workers from a temporary help agency the same pay as their permanent employees performing the same job.

Personal Emergency Leave

All employers must provide an employee with up to 10 days of personal emergency leave a year. Further, the first two days off for personal emergency leave are required to be paid. Currently, small employers with less than 50 employers are exempt from providing any personal emergency leave days.

When Will the Changes Take Effect?

The government intends to pass legislation relatively quickly as some of the proposals would take effect January 1, 2018.

I will publish additional information in a future blog on the proposed changes when the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 is introduced in the Ontario Legislature.


For over 25 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]

The material and information in this blog and this website are for general information only. They should not be relied on as legal advice or opinion. The authors make no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of any information referred to in this blog or its links. No person should act or refrain from acting in reliance on any information found on this website or blog. Readers should obtain appropriate professional advice from a lawyer duly licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. These materials do not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and any of the authors or the MacLeod Law Firm.

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