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BILL 47 – ONTARIO
On October 23, 2018, the Ontario government introduced Bill 47, entitled the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, if passed, will impact several workplace laws and will also reverse many of the changes made by Bill 148. The changes are as below:
Bill 148 increased the minimum wage to $14.00 per hour and included an additional increase to $15.00 per hour effective January 1, 2019. While the current minimum wage will not be rolled back, Bill 47 cancels this increase and freezes the general minimum at $14 an hour until October 1, 2020.
Personal Emergency Leave
One of the most significant changes introduced would result in the elimination of the 10 days of personal emergency leave (including two paid days) provided under Bill 148. This would be replaced by a total of 8 unpaid leave days per year, 3 days per year for personal illness, 3 days per year for family responsibilities (such as illness or urgent matters concerning a spouse or child), and 2 days per year for Bereavement leave.
In addition to modifying the 3-hour rule for minimum pay when an employee is required to report to work, Bill 47 would repeal the Bill 148 scheduling provisions that were to come into force on January 1, 2019, including right to change location, being on-call, right to refuse to work on a day the employee is not scheduled to work with less than 96 hours’ notice and 3 hours pay for canceling shift within 48 hours. Employers will still be required to pay an employee who is required to report to work a minimum three hours of pay, even if the employee works less.
Public Holiday Pay
Bill 148 introduced a new formula for calculating public holiday pay. Bill 47 repeals this and permanently maintains the old formula for calculating public holiday pay by restoring the default formula wherein the employee’s public holiday pay for a given public holiday shall be equal to the total amount of regular wages earned and vacation pay payable to the employee in the 4 work weeks before the work week in which the public holiday occurred, divided by 20.
** Not all Bill 148 amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 would be repealed by Bill 47. The schedule outlining changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 provides that it would come into force on the later of January 1, 2019, and the date the legislation receives Royal Assent.