Bill 47: An Overview for Employers

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

New Legislation

The main changes from the proposal are set out below:

  • Minimum wage as of October 1st 2021 the general minimum wage in Ontario will increase from $14.25 to $14.35 per hour.
  • Scheduling provisions which were due to come in on 1st January 2019 were repealed, including the requirement for employers to respond to an employee’s request for changes to their schedule or work location and an employee’s right to refuse a request to work or be on call with less than 96-hours’ notice.
  • Personal Emergency Leave was replaced 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.
  • Contractor Misclassification repealed the requirement for the employer to prove that an individual is not an employee (“reverse onus”)  where it is disputed.
  • Equal Pay for Equal Work repealed equal pay for equal work based on employment status (part-time, casual, and temporary) and assignment employee status (temporary help agency status). The requirement for equal pay on the basis of sex remains.

How will Bill 47 be enforced?

Compliance officers are allowed to conduct audits without warrant. They can impose penalties specified within the Act on employers failing to comply.

How will Bill 47 affect my business?

Ontario employers will need to ensure that their written employment contracts and policies are not in contravention of the Act.

FREE Advice on Bill 47

As you prepare your business for these changes, you’ll find yourself with many questions about labour law and employment regulation. Ask Employer Line’s HR experts. We’re available to help business owners with this transition in Ontario’s changing workplace laws. Call us today – 1-888-219-8767.