Bullet-Point Summary of Proposed Ontario Labour Legislation Changes: ‘Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs 2017’

The Ontario Government has recently proposed a number of changes to the Employment Standards Act.  Called “Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act 2017”, this Act  has a broad scope and will affect almost all employers.  While it is not yet law, you should start to plan now, as it will take effect as early as January 2018.

What can I do now?  

  1. Read the highlights below to familiarize yourself with the proposed changes
  2. Identify handbooks, policies, procedures that will likely require revisions (i.e. vacation, scheduling, payroll, offer letters, employment agreements)
  3. Ensure Managers, Supervisors, and Directors are aware of the coming changes

In short, educate yourself so you are prepared to be compliant.


  • January 1st, 2018 – Ontario General Minimum wage change to $14 per hour
  • January 1st 2019 – Ontario General Minimum wage change to $15 per hour
  • January 1st 2020 – Annual Increases to General Minimum wage at the rate of inflation
  • All workers would be entitled to 10 Personal Emergency Leave Days per year with minimum of 2 being paid days
  • All workers would be entitled to 3 weeks of vacation after 5 years of employment with a company, at least 6% vacation pay provisions
  • 48hr-notice necessary if an employee’s shift is cancelled, else 3hrs of wages to be paid
  • If an employee is scheduled for a shift with less than 4 days notice, they have the right to refuse the shift without repercussion
  • 3hrs of regular pay given every 24 hours when an employee is required to be On-Call but is not called in to work – Exception: If a Collective Agreement is already in place
  • April 1st, 2018 – Equal pay for THA (Temporary Help Agency) Workers & Permanent Employees when completing same job
  • Ministry of Labour to work with Ministries excluded from Collective Bargaining such as: Dental, Medical, Legal, Hunters & Trappers, Domestics, Members of Architectural, Land Surveying, Agricultural & Horticultural Employees to explore options
  • Increase Union Certification specifically within: Community Services, THA, Home Care & Community Services, plus the Building Services Sectors
  • Steps to streamline Union Certification Process
  • Provincial approval to hire up-to 175 additional Labour Relations Officers by 2020/2021 to resolve claims faster and enforce/regulate new legislation

For more information, go to http://www.kathleenwynne.onmpp.ca/  or https://news.ontario.ca/

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