Bill 47: An Overview for Employers

On November 21, 2018, the Ontario Provincial Government passed Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018. This Bill will repeal sections of the previous government’s Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (known as Bill 148). The Act came into force on January 1, 2019.

The main changes from the proposal are set out below:

  • Minimum wage – kept the minimum wage at $14 on January 1, 2019 as well, keeping the minimum wage at this level until 2020, after which it will link to inflation.
  • Scheduling – repealing scheduling provisions which were due to come in on 1 January 2019, such 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.
  • Personal Emergency Leave – replacing Personal Emergency Leave and replacing this with:
    • Three days unpaid Sick Leave
    • Three days unpaid Family Responsibility Leave
    • Two Days unpaid Bereavement Leave
  • Public Holiday Pay– repealing the averaging public holiday pay formula prescribed by Bill 148 and return to the previous prorating public holiday pay formula.
  • Misclassification- Repealing the requirement for the employer to prove that an individual is not an employee (“reverse onus”) where there is a dispute over whether the individual is an employee.
  • Equal Pay for Equal Work- repealing equal pay for equal work on the basis of employment status (part-time, casual, and temporary) and assignment employee status (temporary help agency status). Maintaining the requirement for equal pay on the basis of sex.

How will Bill 47 be enforced?

The Act allows compliance officers to conduct audits. Penalties can also be imposed in accordance with the regulations to the Act.

How will Bill 47 affect my business?

As a result of the Act, employers will also need to ensure that their written employment contracts and policies are not in contravention of the Act.

Complimentary Advice on Bill 47

As you prepare your business for these proposed changes, you’ll find yourself with many questions. Ask Employer Line’s HR experts. We’re available to help business owners with this transition to Ontario’s changing workplace laws. Call us today – 1(833)-247-3650.