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Sweeping changes have been made to Ontario’s labour laws.

Whether you’re an employer or an employee, here is what you need to know.

On Wednesday, the governing Progressive Conservatives passed labour reform legislation that rolls back many of the changes brought in by the previous Liberal government.

The provincial government’s Making Ontario Open for Business Act was introduced on Oct. 23 and now that it has been passed, it repeals many of the amendments to the Employment Standard Act made by the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, also known as Bill 148.

  • The changes include freezing minimum wage at $14 an hour. Starting in 2020, annual increases to the minimum wage will be tied to inflation.
  • A complete overhaul of the personal emergency leave provisions, including the removal of the prohibition on employers requiring medical certificates in support of an absence.
  • There is no longer any guaranteed paid leave. The new legislation scraps the 10-personal emergency leave days, two of which were paid, that was legislated by the previous government and replaces it with up to eight unpaid days. Three days will be set aside for personal illness, two for bereavement and three for family responsibilities.
  • A repeal of some of the recently introduced scheduling provisions, which were expected to come into force on Jan. 1, 2019.
  • The legislation keeps provisions brought in by the Liberals that granted workers up to 10 days of leave if they or their child experience domestic or sexual violence.
  • The new bill maintains regulations that grant Ontario workers three weeks of paid vacation after five years of service.
  • The new legislation repeals the averaging public holiday pay formula put in place by Bill 148 and returns to the previous prorating public holiday pay formula.

In a statement, Todd Smith, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade said the new legislation is one of the government’s “first steps in cutting job-killing red tape,” by removing regulatory burdens on job creators, and growing Ontario’s economy.

Do you have any questions about the Making Ontario Open for Business Act? Don’t hesitate to call the experts today at Employment Professionals Canada.


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