Ontario’s Changing Workplace: New Labour Law Rules and Regulations
Are you a business owner looking for help with understanding Ontario’s new labour legislation? Do you know what steps to take to ensure that you meet your obligations as an employer? We can guide you through these changes in your workplace.
Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018, was passed in November 2018 and repealed certain sections of the previous government’s Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (known as Bill 148). Bill 47 came into effect on January 1st, 2019 and greatly impacts how businesses operate in relation to:
- Minimum wage
- Equal pay for equal work
- Personal emergency leave
- Contractor Misclassification
- Employment standards enforcement
Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, it is important that you’re complying with the new legislation. Outlined below are the areas where Ontario made adjustments.
1. Minimum Wage
This legislation saw the minimum wage in Ontario increase. On October 1, 2021, the general minimum wage in Ontario increased from $14.25 to $14.35 per hour. This minimum wage applies to most employees.
The legislation also provided increases to other types of employees.
The current minimum wage for these employees is as follows:
- Students: from $14.10 to $14.60 an hour
- Liquor servers: from $15.00 to $15.50 an hour
- Homeworkers: from $15.70 to $15.80 an hour
- Hunting/fishing/wilderness guides: rates will vary depending on hours worked.
Since this legislation was passed, there have been two updates to the general minimum wage. On October 1, 2022, the minimum wage increased from $15.00 to $15.50.
The minimum wage for other workers has increased as well. The student minimum wage increased to $14.60 from $14.10, and the homeworker’s minimum wage increased to $17.05 from $16.50. The minimum wage specific to liquor servers has been discontinued, meaning that liquor servers receive the general minimum wage of $15.50 per hour.
2. Employment Standards Act
Bill 47’s changes to the minimum employment standards include:
- Equal pay for equal work
- Sick leave, family responsibility leave & bereavement leave entitlement and pay
- Orders to pay employees directly
- Employee contact
- Employee misclassification
- Penalties for non-compliance of the ESA
3. Labour Relations Act
Bill 47’s changes to the Labour Relations Act include:
- Card-based certification for unions
- Employee Lists
- The OLRB’s power to review bargaining unit structure in certain circumstances
In addition to the three focuses of change, the Government of Ontario has passed new regulations for the Occupational Health and Safety Act, specific to safe footwear on the job.
Are you compliant? Get complimentary HR support for your business.
Did you know? The province has hired 175 additional employment standards officers to ensure that employers comply with the new legislation changes. Additionally, fines have increased substantially from $25,000 up to $100,000 for organizations.
Call Employer Line for free HR advice. If you have questions about Ontario’s new labour laws, we can help you – 1(833) 247-3650.