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Employment Standards Act: Ontario’s Changing Labour Laws

Update: Proposed Changes to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act

On May 30, 2017, the Ontario Government announced the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act. The legislative proposal introduces significant changes to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act. For small businesses, these plans may have the greatest impact.

10 Changes to the Employment Standards Act that employers can start to prepare for

As of January 2018, there are several amendments to Ontario’s employment and labour laws, expected to come into effect. Over the next few months, employers should prepare for the transition by understanding and planning for the changes. If passed, here are ten of the legislative changes to the Employment Standards Act that will apply to employers:

  1. Minimum Wage Increase: The lowest rate that can be paid by employers to employees will increase to $14.00 per hour under the general minimum wage.
  2. Termination of Assignment: If an assignment is scheduled to last for three months and ends early, a minimum of one week’s notice will be mandatory.
  3. Overtime Pay: If an employee has two or more regular rates for work performed for the same employer, the overtime rate will apply to the position worked during the additional hours.
  4. Vacation Entitlement and Pay: For employees who work over five years with the same company, vacation entitlement will increase to a minimum of three weeks with pay.
  5. Public Holiday Pay: The calculation of pay for public holidays will be based on the number of days actually worked over a pay period that immediately follows the holiday day.
  6. Paid Emergency Leave: All employees will be entitled to 10 personal emergency leave days per year, two of which must be paid.
  7. Family Medical Leave: Time off for family medical leave will increase from up to 8 weeks in a 26-week period to up to 27 weeks in a 52-week period.
  8. Sick Leave: Requesting a doctor’s note from an employee taking personal emergency leave will be prohibited.
  9. Paying Employees: Additional methods of payment will be authorized.
  10. Electronic Agreements: An agreement made electronically between employers and employees will serve as an agreement in writing.
Follow a step-by-step transition

Are you wondering what can you do to make this transition easier for you, your business, and your employees? Ensure that you are thoroughly aware of the potential changes that are coming into effect for January 2018. The additional amendments can be addressed afterward. Take it step-by-step to understand and assess how each change will impact your business. Discuss any organizational shifts with your employees. Remember, communication is key. To help prepare you and your business, another solution is to just pick up the phone and call Peninsula. Our advice line is available 24/7 so that employers can ask for guidance with the Employment Standards Act, at any time and anywhere. Call us today – 1(833) 247-3651.