Bill 148 - is it in or out?

October 18, 2018

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Since it was passed on November 22, 2017, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, widely known as Bill 148, has challenged Ontario employers to respond. Minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, vacation time, leaves, and scheduling are just some of the revisions made to the province’s Employment Standards Act. Employers have been diligently reviewing organizational policies, practices, and procedures in order to comply with the changes currently in effect, and to prepare for those upcoming as of January 1, 2019.

Bill under review

The Bill 148 changes may be cancelled, according to Ontario Premier Doug Ford. In addition to putting a freeze on the minimum wage hike to $15 per hour, set to take effect January 1, 2019, he announced his intentions to eliminate Bill 148 altogether. The bill is currently under review and has not yet been officially repealed.

This puts into question whether or not employers should continue to prepare for the changes proposed in the bill, and what they should do if the bill is ultimately repealed. Amendments as of January 1, 2019 include scheduling arrangements such as the “three-hour rule” for paying employees. 

According to Jim Wilson, the province’s Economic Development Minister, some elements of the bill may remain in effect if the bill is repealed.

BDO’s HR Advisory team is available to help you navigate the ever-changing legislation, and revise your HR policies and procedures accordingly.  We will continue to provide you with updates as they become available.  

For more information on this update, or on any other workplace policy or program, contact our Human Resources Advisory team.