On October 23, 2018, Ontario government announced Bill 47, the “Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018” which aims to repeal the majority of Bill 148 passed by the previous government.
Highlights of the proposed changes in the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018 include:
Minimum Wage: Minimum wage to remain at $14.00/hour, until at least October 2020. Further increases in minimum wage to start October 2020, and will be tied to inflation.
Scheduling: Most of the new scheduling provision in Bill 148 will be repealed, including:
(a) the right to request changes to schedule or work location after an employee has been employed for at least three months;
(b) a minimum of three hours’ pay for being on-call if the employee is available to work but is not called in to work, or works less than three hours;
(c) the right to refuse requests or demands to work or to be on-call on a day that an employee is not scheduled to work or to be on-call with less than 96 hours’ notice;
(d) three hours’ pay in the event of cancellation of a scheduled shift or an on-call shift within 48 hours before the shift was to begin; and
(e) the record-keeping requirements that relate to the above-noted scheduling provisions;
Personal Emergency Leave: The current right to receive 10 PEL days, of which two are paid, will be replaced with a package of eight unpaid annual leave days: three unpaid days for personal illness; two unpaid bereavement leave days; and three unpaid days for “family responsibilities.”
Medical Notes: Employers will again be allowed to request a medical note from a qualified health practitioner to establish an employee’s entitlement to personal emergency leave.
Vacation: The current vacation entitlement provisions will remain.
Domestic and Sexual Violence Leave: The current paid leave provisions dealing with domestic and sexual violence will be retained.
Public Holiday Pay: The averaging public holiday pay formula prescribed by Bill 148 will be repealed, in favour of the pre-Bill 148 prorating public holiday pay formula.
Misclassification: If there is a dispute over whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor, the bill eliminates the reverse onus on the employer to prove that an individual is not an employee.
Equal Pay for Equal Work: Certain aspects of the Equal Pay for Equal Work provision imposed by Bill 148 will be repealed. The requirement for equal pay on the basis of sex will remain.