Ontario’s Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (“Bill 148”) passed its third reading on November 22, 2017, confirming that many significant changes to Ontario’s labour and employment legislation are imminent.

Most of these changes were summarized in our last Bill 148 article (see here).  However, the following significant changes were made to Bill 148 since our last post:

  • Family Medical Leave will now be extended to 28 weeks, and will apply to all critically ill family members, not just children.
  • The first five days of Domestic or Sexual Violence Leave will now be paid.
  • Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, an employer shall not require a worker to wear footwear with an elevated heel unless it is required for the worker to perform his or her work safely (subject to certain exceptions).

In addition, several changes have been made to the timing of the implementation of legislative changes:

  • As a general rule, changes to the Employment Standards Act will commence on January 1, 2018.  However:
    • The changes with respect to critical illness leave and the extension of parental leave will take effect on the later of December 3, 2017 or the date on which the bill receives Royal Assent.
    • The changes with respect to pay equity in relation to “employment status” will take effect on April 1, 2018.
    • The changes regarding work scheduling standards will take effect on January 1, 2019.
  • The proposed changes to the Labour Relations Act will take effect on the later of January 1, 2018 or the date that Bill 148 receives Royal Assent.
  • The proposed changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act will come into force on the day Bill 148 receives Royal Assent.

 

Many thanks to Ben Sakamoto for his assistance in drafting this article.