Ontario Wraps Up Hearings on Labour Legislation

Ontario is moving forward with a plan to create more opportunity and security for workers. This includes hiking the minimum wage, ensuring part-time workers are paid the same hourly wage as full-time workers, introducing paid sick days for every worker, enabling at least three weeks’ vacation after five years with the same employer and stepping up enforcement of employment laws.

The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs has completed its public hearings on the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (Bill 148). The committee travelled to 10 communities across the province over two weeks.  They heard approximately 190 presentations from members of the public, businesses, labour organizations and advocacy groups.

“While some choose to put the bottom line ahead of people working hard to provide for their family, our government believes in protecting all citizens.”  Labour Minister Kevin Flynn said.  The province is facing opposition from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.  They sent a letter earlier this year asking Wynne for an economic analysis on the impact of an increased minimum wage.

Other highlights of bill 148 include fairer scheduling rules, expanded family leaves, measures to address misclassification of employees, and a program for educating employees as well as business owners about their rights and obligations under the Employment Standards Act. The province will continue to consult with workers and businesses throughout the fall, as the bill moves through the legislative process.