Ontario’s Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, continues to move through the legislative process. On September 12, 2017, the Second Reading of Bill 148 commenced. To bring you up to speed on the current proposals, and in addition to our previous articles here and here, we provide the following overview of the key changes that are currently proposed.

Employment Standards Act, 2000 

Current Proposed Change
Minimum Wage $11.40/hour

$14/hour (Jan. 1, 2018)

$15/hour (Jan. 1, 2019)

Vacation Time/Pay 2 weeks/4% 3 weeks after 5 years/6%
Public Holiday Pay new formula, no “time off in lieu”
Part-Time, Casual, Temp., Seasonal Employees same pay rate as comparable full-time (exceptions apply)
Scheduling right to request changes in work hours or location
3-Hour Rule 3 hours deemed (at min. wage) if regular shift reduced to under 3 hours minimum 3 hours pay for shifts < 3 hours or shift cancellation
Independent Contractors violation to misclassify
Record Keeping Requirements scheduling, leaves, on-call shifts, vacation time, pay
Family Medical Leave 8 weeks 27 weeks
Parental Leave up to 37 weeks up to 63 weeks
Pregnancy Leave (miscarriage or stillbirth) 6 weeks 12 weeks
Personal Emergency Leave 10 days/50+ employees 10 days (2 paid)/all employers, no note required
Domestic Violence Leave N/A up to 10 days, up to 15 weeks
Crime-Related Child Disappearance Leave 52 weeks 104 weeks
Child Death Leave N/A 104 weeks

Many of the proposed changes to the Employment Standards Act are set to take place on a rolling basis. For example, as of January 1, 2018, many of the increased leave requirements are set to come into force. However, increased pregnancy leave and the ultimate minimum wage increase are set to come into force on April 1, 2018 and January 1, 2019, respectively.

It is likely that these timelines will change as Bill 148 is subject to further debate by the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs and a Third Reading.

Labour Relations Act

Current Proposed Change
Union Certification remedial union certification if no other remedy would be sufficient for employer contravention union access to employee list, broader remedial union certification, more accessible votes outside workplace
No discharge or discipline without just cause between certification and agreement (or when union no longer represents bargaining unit)
Return-to-Work Rights within 6 months of strike at conclusion of strike/lock-out
First Collective Agreement Mediation-Arbitration 20 day waiting period (no strike/lock-out, applications for decertification or applications for settlement of first agreement) increased to 45 day waiting period (no strike/lock-out, applications for decertification, applications for settlement of first agreement)
Transitional Provisions Related to “Scheduling” collective agreement prevails over conflicts with ESA scheduling provisions if agreement in place on Jan. 1, 2019 (conflicting provisions expire Jan. 1, 2020)

The proposed changes to the Labour Relations Act are set to take place six months after Bill 148 comes into force.

We will continue to monitor the progress of Bill 148 as it moves through the legislative process.

         Many thanks to Megan Paterson for her assistance in drafting this article.