Posted in:HR Governance
The Province of Ontario passed the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs act in November of 2017. This legislation makes a number of changes to Ontario labour law across a variety of areas including minimum wage, employee leave, and employee classification. If you are an Ontario-based employer it is critical that you have a solid understanding of these changes and how they stand to impact your operations.
Ontario’s minimum wage will be increasing from $11.60 per hour in 2017 to $14.00 per hour on January 1st, 2018. This will be followed by another increase to $15.00 per hour on January 1st, 2019.
Note that special minimum wage rates will still apply for liquor servers, students under the age of 18, hunting and fishing guides, and employees who perform work from their own homes – although these will also be increasing too.
Currently legislation only affords 10 days of unpaid, job-protected leave to employees who work for organizations with more than 50 employees. Beginning January 1st, 2018, all employers will be required to give employees 10 personal emergency leave days per year, including two paid days if the employee has been employed for 7 days or longer.
Additionally, an employee who has been employed for at least 13 consecutive weeks will be entitled up to 10 days, plus 15 weeks of leave if the employee or their child experiences domestic or sexual violence, or the threat of domestic or sexual violence.
Both of these leaves will come into effect on January 1, 2018.
There have been instances where an individual is, in practice, an Employee of an organization, but is deliberately misclassified as an Independent Contractor, thus not entitled to employment standards protections. As of November 27, 2017, employers cannot misclassify employees as Independent Contractors. If a dispute arises, the onus will be on the employer to prove the individual is indeed an Independent Contractor and not an Employee.
Here to Help
The new legislation introduces a variety of changes to the Employment Standards Act, the Labour Relations Act, as well as the Occupational Health And Safety Act. Honiva Consulting can help employers understand the changes and how it will impact the business.
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