Ontario is implementing sweeping employment changes to increase the minimum wage and other workplace rules with respects to vacation time, leaves, and shift scheduling.
Minimum Wage will increase from the current $11.60 to $14/hr starting January 1, 2018 and to $15/hr on January 1, 2019. Minimum wage changes are summarized below:
Basic Minimum Wage
Students under 18
In addition, there will be vast changes to other employment rules beginning in 2018:
3 Weeks Vacation Pay after 5 years
Employees will now be entitled 3 weeks or 6% paid vacation after 5 years service. This extends the current 2 week or 4% minimum for all employees.
Paid Personal Emergency Days plus other Leaves
Employees will be entitled 10 personal emergency leave days per year, of which 2 will be paid. Formerly this was only a requirement for employers with over 50 employees. Now it applies to all employers.
Employers will not be allowed to request a doctors note from the employee for taking personal emergency leaves.
There are also changes to unpaid leaves of absences for situations involving family medical leave, death of a child and domestic violence.
Statutory Holiday Pay
The calculation for statutory holiday pay will be simplified
Penalties for Misclassifying Employees as "Independent Contractors"
Employers who misclassify employees as "independent contractors", in order to skirt labour laws, will be subject to fines, penalties and possible prosecution.
Equal Pay for Equal Work Provisions
The legislation would ensure that casual, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees are paid equally to full-time employees when performing the same job for the same employer.