Employee Entitlements

About this time last year I wrote about Bill 148 (Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017) which included huge changes to employment law in Ontario. You can see the post here. Some of the amendments, like the increase to minimum wage and equal pay for equal work on the basis of employment status (i.e. part-time vs full-time), came into force last year. Many of the amendments, such as a further increase in minimum wage and the scheduling requirements, were set to come into force on January 1, 2019. But wait! There have been more significant changes to the employment landscape.  The current government wasted no time in reversing many of the new employee entitlements included in Bill 148. Bill 47 (Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018) became law in late 2018. Bill 47 repealed most of Bill 148, but not all. Here are some of the highlights:
  • Minimum wage remains $14 (scheduled increase to $15 delayed).
  • Repealed most of the scheduling provisions, except for the three hour rule that requires employers to pay employees who regularly work more than three hours where they are scheduled to work and work less than three hours despite being available to work longer.
  • Repealed equal pay for equal work on basis of employment status.
  • Made changes to personal leave days - 8 unpaid days (3 sick, 3 family responsibility, 2 bereavement).
  • Kept other types of leaves (i.e. domestic violence, child disappearance or death, critical illness, organ donor, family caregiver or medical leave).
A number of other employment laws changed in the past year, including the Labour Relations Act and the Police Record Checks Reform Act, 2015.  WARNING: Before eliminating or changing entitlements given to employees by Bill 148 (even if removed by Bill 47) employers should seek legal advice. Employers considering eliminating or changing entitlements could lead to a constructive dismissal claim by the employee.