Minimum wage increase largest in Ontario’s history

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This week Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that Ontario will increase minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2019. Current minimum wage sits at $11.40 with more than a quarter of employees in Ontario making less than $15 an hour. This increase, the largest in the province’s history, is also accompanied by several other proposals including:

Equal pay for part-time: those who do the same work as full-time employees on a part-time, seasonal or casual basis should be paid the same.

Increased vacation entitlements: employees will receive at least three weeks of vacation after five years with a company.

Expanded personal-emergency leave: all employees can expect 10 days of personal-emergency leave, including two paid days. Currently, personal-emergency leave only applies to workplaces with 50 or more employees. The amendment would provide personal-emergency leave days to all employees, regardless of workplace size. 

Scheduled overtime requirements: an employer will no longer need to receive ministry approval for employees working 48 to 60 hours a week.

Physician notes for absences: if an employee is taking a personal emergency day an employer will be prohibited from requesting a sick note.  

These changes are in response to a recent report that found that new technology, a shrinking manufacturing sector, as well as other factors have left over one-third of Ontario’s workforce vulnerable. 

The proposal was met with mixed reviews, with critics sharing concern about how this increase to minimum wage will affect small businesses and consumer costs while others applaud the proposals as a step towards creating fair workplaces. 

Visit the Ontario Newsroom for more information on what's proposed.