Bill 148 will see Minimum Wage Increase to $15/hour
On June 1, 2017, the Provincial Government introduced legislation that they say will create more opportunity and security for workers through its Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs Act.
Highlights of the new legislation include:
- an increase to Ontario’s general minimum wage to $14/hour on January 18, 2018, and then to $15/hour on January 1, 2019, followed by an annual increase 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 permanent employees at the agencies’ client companies.
- Expand personal emergency leave to include an across-the-bear minimum of at least two paid days per year for all workers.
- Bring Ontario’s vacation time into line with the national average by ensuring at least three weeks’ vacation after 5 years with the same employer
- Require employees to be paid for three hours of work if their shift is cancelled within 48 hours of its scheduled start time.
NOTO has heard from a number of our members that these changes will have a negative impact on their businesses. We have partnered with other tourism sector organizations and TIAO the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario to advocate for a more reasonable approach.
Some of the key recommendations that we are collaboratively bringing forward are:
- To roll out the changes to minimum wage over a longer period of time so that businesses can better plan and prepare for the added business costs and potential staff changes
- Exempt the tourism industry from the new scheduling provisions because of its need to be able to change the needs for staffing based on weather and consumer behaviour.
- Maintain a threshold of 50-employees for Personal Emergency Leave; clarify the greater right of benefit with regards to when the Employment Standards Act applies; clarify the application of 10 days leave for part-time and seasonal workers; and initiate conversation with industry to explore options for reducing administrative burden associated with categories of unpaid leave.
As we prepare to take concerns to Government, we urge any of you who have scenarios of how these proposed changes will negatively impact your business, please contact Andre Dukhia or Laurie Marcil at the NOTO Office 705-472-5552. We are looking for case studies that will clearly show that these changes as proposed will not have the desired effect for employees or employers.