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Important Notes on Bill 148

Bill 148 has made some sweeping changes to labour legislation in Ontario.  Here is a brief synopsis of the areas that all our small business clients need to be aware of.


Minimum Wage (Effective January 1, 2018)

General:   $14.00 per hour

Liquor Servers:    $12.20 per hour

Students (Under 18)   $13.15 per hour

Homeworkers: $15.40 per hour


Equal Pay for Employees (Effective April 1, 2018)

Casual, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees must be paid the same as full-time, and/or permanent employees, so long as they are doing substantially the same work.  If there is a wage difference, it must be based on (a) a seniority or merit system, (b) systems that measure earnings by quantity or quality of production, or other factors as laid out in the bill


Vacation Time (Effective January 1, 2018)

Employees who have been with the company for 5 years or more will be entitled to three weeks of paid vacation (or 6% vacation pay)


Public Holiday Pay for Part Time Employees (Effective January 1, 2018)

The new formula for the calculation of public holiday pay means that public holidays are now paid out based on the average day an employee works.  Under this new system, an employee who works three days a week, 8 hours a day, would be entitled to 8 hours public holiday pay.  Under the old rule, they would be entitled to 4.8 hours pay.  Also, where an employee works on a public holiday, payment will be public holiday pay PLUS premium pay for the hours worked on the holiday.


Parental Leave (Effective December 3, 2017)

Parental leave has been increased.  Under the new legislation you can take 61 weeks if the employee also took pregnancy leave, or 63 weeks otherwise.


Pregnancy Leave (Effective January 1, 2018)

For an employee who suffers a pregnancy loss, the leave is extended from 6 – 12 weeks to 17 weeks


Family Medical Leave (Effective January 1, 2018)

The length of the leave has been increased to up to 18 weeks in a 52 week period



Personal Emergency Leave (Effective January 1, 2018)

All employers are required to give all employees 10 personal emergency leave days per leave, including two paid days.  Employees must be employed 7 days to receive this leave.


Domestic or Sexual Violence Leave (Effective January 1, 2018)

An employee is entitled to up to 10 individual days of leave and up to 15 weeks of leave if the employee or their child experiences or is threatened with domestic or sexual violence.  The first five days of leave will be paid by the employer.  This renews each year.  The employee is not required to provide any proof or documentation.


Employee Misclassification (Effective November 27, 2017)

Employers cannot misclassify employees as independent contractors in order to avoid being subject to employment standards protections.  In cases of a dispute, the employer will have to prove that the individual is not an employee.


Footwear with an Elevated Heel (Effective November 27, 2017)

Employers cannot require workers to wear high heeled shoes.  This does not apply to workers in the entertainment or advertising industries.


Enforcement of Changes (Effective January 1, 2018)

Penalties for non-compliance range from $250 to $1500.  The new legislation also allows the Director of Employment Standards to publish (including online) the names of individuals who have been issued a penalty, a description of the contravention, the date of the contravention and the amount of the penalty.

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