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Ontario Employers Face Law Revamp

Employers in Canada’s Ontario province face possible heavy-duty changes in employment law.

On May 30, the Ontario government announced its intention to introduce new workplace legislation, which if enacted could prove costly for employers.

Among the proposed changes are minimum wage increases to $14 per hour on Jan. 1, 2018 and $15 per hour on Jan. 1, 2019. The current minimum wage for most employees is $11.40 per hour.

Employees would receive three weeks of paid vacation after five years of service with the same employer. The current minimum standard is two weeks of vacation per year.

Casual, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees would be required to be paid equally to full-time employees when performing the same job for the same employer.

The legislation is expected to include a simplified formula for calculating public holiday pay, entitling employees to their average regular daily wage.

Employees would be granted the right to request schedule or location changes after having been employed for three months without fear of reprisal. They also would be able to refuse shifts without repercussion if their employer asks them to work the shifts with less than four days’ notice.

Job-protected leave in the event of a death of a child and for crime-related disappearance and family medical leave would increase.

Three hours pay at regular rate would be the minimum for employees who are called into work or have to be “on call” but are not called into work.

Personal emergency leave (PEL) provisions would apply to all workplaces, not just to those with 50 or more employees. Employees also would be entitled to 10 PEL days per year, two of them paid.

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