BILL 148: FAIR WORKPLACES, BETTER JOBS ACT, 2017
In the face of a changing economy, full-time and permanent work is no longer the norm and employment is increasingly less secure. Many people are unable to support their families on part-time, contract or minimum wage jobs, and many more don’t have access to time off due to illness.
Accordingly, Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, was introduced with a view of trying to create more opportunity and security for workers in Ontario. While Bill 148 has implemented changes to various employment legislations, most of the amendments have been made to the Employment Standards Act, 2000.
Click here for an overview of the amendments that have been made to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and are currently in effect, with the exception of the Equal Pay for Equal Work provisions coming into effect on April 1, 2018.
Does Your Practice Require an Adjustment?
The following is a guideline to ensure your practice is compliant with the new provisions of the Employment Standards Act, 2000. It may be a prudent economic business decision to seek legal advice on these changes to ensuring you and your business are in compliance with the current employment laws to avoid potential risks, including cost consequences, of non-compliance in the future.
- Revisit your independent contractor agreements and relationship to ensure they are not misclassified and your independent contractors are not employees;
- Review current employment contracts with a view to ensure its provisions are in compliance with the current and future changes at minimum;
- Amend new employment contracts to ensure provisions are in compliance with the changes and future changes that are scheduled to come into force;
- Examine and adjust current workplace policies on statute protected leaves of absences, including any top-up considerations for employees on pregnancy/parental leave, requirements for employees to provide medical certificates for personal emergency or sick leaves, etc.;
- Engage in advance planning for staffing and coverage of duties during times of staff leaves (short absences and lengthier absences);
- Ensure records are maintained to monitor wages, vacation time, overtime pay (if applicable), as well as leaves of absences for your employees;
- Print and post the ESA Version 7.0 Poster at a visible spot in your place of business/clinic(s);
- Consider your current pay scales and job descriptions for positions within your business/clinic(s) to ensure they comply with the Equal Pay for Equal Work provisions and your business is not exposed to liability for failing to comply with those provisions;
- Implement safeguard measures and ensure your managers and supervisors are trained on the changes to promote collaborative strategies toward compliance;If in doubt as to whether Bill 148 affects you and your practices or how to adjust your practices toward compliance, seek legal advice as soon as possible.
- A Plan For Better Workplaces and Better Jobs, Ministry of Labour.
- Your Guide to The Employment Standards Act, Ministry of Labour.
- Employment Standards Act, 2000.