Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs in Hamilton
$15 Minimum Wage is Part of Plan to Help People Get Ahead in a Changing Economy
Ontario is taking action to improve working conditions and job security for people in Hamilton with a plan for Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs.
Premier Kathleen Wynne was at The Mustard Seed in Hamilton today to talk about how the proposed Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act would increase fairness and help workers and families across Ontario share in the province's economic growth. The plan includes raising the minimum wage to $14 per hour on January 1, 2018, and $15 per hour on January 1, 2019, followed by annual increases at the rate of inflation. It would also ensure that part-time workers are paid the same hourly wage as full-time workers for doing the same job, make employee scheduling fairer and expand personal emergency leave so all employees receive at least 10 days per year, including two days of paid leave.
Over the past three years, Ontario's economy has outperformed all G7 countries in real GDP growth, and employment is up by 86,000 net new jobs over the past 12 months. Still, many workers are struggling to support their families on part-time, contract or minimum-wage work. To protect workers and ensure they are treated fairly, the government is updating labour and employment laws to address the changing nature of work.
Ontario is also taking additional action to help people in the province get ahead and stay ahead with the Ontario Basic Income Pilot. This study will test whether a basic income might expand opportunities and provide greater security for people living on low incomes. Hamilton, including Brantford and Brant County, is one of three regions that will take part in the study. People are struggling with the rising cost of living and jobs that provide little security or benefits. This pilot will explore whether a basic income can help to bridge that gap and provide people with the opportunity and security they need to reach their potential.
Creating fair workplaces and better jobs across Ontario is part of our plan to grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
- The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act would also expand family leave, give employees the right to request a review of their wages if they believe they are not receiving equal pay, and mandate equal pay for temporary help agency employees doing the same job as permanent employees at their assigned company.
- More than a quarter of Ontario workers would receive a pay hike through the proposed increase to the minimum wage. Half of the employees in the province who earn less than $15 per hour are from the age of 25 to 64, and the majority are women.
- Studies show that a higher minimum wage reduces employee turnover, which increases business productivity.
- Over the past 30 years, part-time work has grown to represent nearly 20 per cent of total employment.
- Ontario’s landmark package of proposals responds to the final report of the Changing Workplaces Review, the first-ever independent review of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and Labour Relations Act, 1995.
“It is important to me that everyone is able to provide for themselves and their loved ones, even in uncertain times — and that everyone can benefit from Ontario’s economic growth. Our Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs plan is about making sure that our province is keeping up with the pace of change in the workplace. As Premier, I am committed to taking action to make Ontario a fairer, better place to live and work.”
“When we launched the Changing Workplaces Review two years ago, we did so on the understanding that workplaces had changed. The legislation needed to change with it. We know that responsible change can ensure that every hard-working person in the province of Ontario has a chance to reach their full potential and share in the economic prosperity of this province.”
“We believe it is the role of government to step up and protect workers as best we can. We see an opportunity to build fairer, more prosperous workplaces in Hamilton and across the province. This is the time for us to be focused and fair and bold — not simply to describe and reassert our values, but to defend them and act on them.”
“As Ontario’s economy continues to grow, it’s important to make sure that we all feel the benefits of our economic success. That’s why increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour is such an important initiative. It will improve the financial well-being of individuals and families right here in Burlington and Hamilton, and will make Ontario’s workplaces fairer for everyone.”