Bill 47: Changes to Ontario’s Employment Standards

November 16, 2018


On Oct. 23, 2018, the Ontario government introduced Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018. If passed, the implementation of Bill 47 will result in a number of changes to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) originally implemented by Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. Some of the key provisions include:
  • Maintaining minimum wage at $14 per hour with annual adjustments tied to inflation beginning Oct. 1, 2020.
  • Repealing a number of scheduling provisions implemented by Bill 148.
  • Replacing personal emergency leave entitlements with annual leave days.
  • Eliminating equal pay for equal work entitlements based on employment status.
Despite the significant revisions proposed, certain changes to the ESA implemented by Bill 148 will remain intact, such as:
  • the requirement to pay employees for three hours of work;
  • three weeks of paid vacation after five years of employment; and
  • leave related to domestic or sexual violence.

It’s important to note that further amendments may be made while Bill 47 is going through the legislative process. Although actively updating company policies and procedures is premature at this stage, employers should take a proactive look at how these guidelines and practices will need to change should the bill receive royal assent.

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Hali Van Vliet
Senior Manager, HR Advisory Services