Ontario Creating Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs
Higher Minimum Wage, Increased Vacation Time, Expanded Personal Emergency Leave, Equal Pay Provisions
Ontario is creating more opportunity and security for workers through its plan for Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs. This includes raising the minimum wage, ensuring part-time workers are paid the same hourly wage as full-time workers, introducing paid sick days for every worker, enabling at least three weeks' vacation after five years with the same employer and stepping up enforcement of employment laws.
The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 will:
- Raise Ontario's general minimum wage to $14 per hour on January 1, 2018, and then to $15 on January 1, 2019, followed by annual increases at the rate of inflation
- Mandate equal pay for part-time, temporary, casual and seasonal employees doing the same job as full-time employees; and equal pay for temporary help agency employees doing the same job as employees at the agencies' client companies
- Expand personal emergency leave to 10 days per calendar year for all employees with at least two paid days per year for employees who have been employed for at least a week
- Ban employers from requiring a physician's sick note from an employee taking personal emergency leave
- Bring Ontario's vacation time in line with the national average by ensuring at least three weeks' vacation after five years with the same employer
- Provide up to 17 weeks off without the fear of losing their job when a worker or their child has experienced or is threatened with domestic or sexual violence, including a paid leave for the first five days
- Make employee scheduling fairer, including requiring employees to be paid for three hours of work if their shift is cancelled within 48 hours of its scheduled start time
To enforce these changes, the province is hiring up to 175 more employment standards officers. It is also launching a program to educate both employees and businesses about their rights and obligations under the Employment Standards Act, 2000.Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change includes raising the minimum wage, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 responds to the final report of the Changing Workplaces Review. It was the first-ever independent review of both the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and Labour Relations Act, 1995.
- The report estimated that more than 30 per cent of Ontario workers were in precarious work in 2014. In 2016, the median hourly wage was $13 for part-time workers and $24.73 for full-time workers. Over the past 30 years, part-time work has grown to represent nearly 20 per cent of total employment.
- Studies show that a higher minimum wage results in less employee turnover, which increases business productivity.
“Our new legislation addresses the needs of the modern workplace and provides a minimum wage that workers can actually live on. The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act will help ensure everyone who works hard has the chance to reach their full potential and share in Ontario’s prosperity.”
“The passing of Bill 148 is fantastic for people in Barrie and across Ontario. No one in Ontario should be living below the poverty line if they are working full-time hours. Our government believes that fairness and decency must define our workplaces. Bill 148 brings this fairness to all workers in Barrie and across Simcoe County.”