Ontario to reverse key Bill 148 reforms

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At Queen’s Park today the Ontario government announced that it would introduce legislation in the form of the Making Ontario Open for Business Act to repeal much of the reforms enacted by Bill 148.

Here are some of the highlights:

Minimum Wage

The province is not rolling back any previous minimum wage increases, and keeping minimum wage at $14 on January 1, 2019. There will also be a 33-month pause in minimum wage increases with annual increases tied to inflation to start in 2020.

Scheduling

The following scheduling provisions will be repealed:

  • Right to request changes to schedule or work location after an employee has been employed for at least three months.
  • Minimum of three hours' pay for being on-call if the employee is available to work but is not called in to work, or works less than three hours.
  • Right to refuse requests or demands to work or to be on-call on a day that an employee is not scheduled to work or to be on-call with less than 96 hours' notice.
  • Three hours' pay in the event of cancellation of a scheduled shift or an on-call shift within 48 hours before the shift was to begin.
  • The record-keeping requirements that relate to the above-noted scheduling provisions.

The three-hour rule would be updated where an employee who regularly works more than three hours a day is required to report to work, but works less than three hours, the employee would be paid for three hours.

Personal Emergency Leave

The province plans to replace the personal emergency leave reforms. Plans are to also repeal the provision that prohibits employers from requiring an employee to provide a medical note from a health practitioner.

Public Holiday Pay

The new bill would repeal Bill 148’s average public holiday pay formula to return to the previous prorated public holiday pay formula.

Equal Pay For Equal Work

Equal pay for equal work on the basis of employment status (part-time, casual, and temporary) and assignment employee status (temporary help agency status) will also be repealed, but the requirement for equal pay on the basis of sex will be maintained.

There are changes being made to update the Labour Relations Act, and we will keep you updated on all developments once the new bill has been tabled. Contact your Accompass advisor with any questions.