Ontario government unveils new labour standards bill

The Ontario government introduced a new act on Tuesday that, if passed, would repeal or change much of the employment laws established by the previous government in Bill 148.

The provincial government intends to scrap the plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, maintaining it at $14 until 2020 and then tying future increases to inflation.

Bill 148 also included 10 days of personal emergency leave, the first two of which would have been paid. If the new bill is passed, this will be replaced by three days for personal illness, two days for bereavement and three days for family responsibilities.

Read: What will happen to Ontario’s new employment legislation?

The government said it won’t be changing the current leaves for domestic and sexual violence, stating those are a valuable protection for employees. Currently, employees who have worked for an employer for at least 13 weeks can take up to 10 days and up to 15 weeks within a calendar year for a leave related to domestic or sexual violence, with the first five days paid.

“Today’s reforms are vital to create good jobs and stimulate new investment,” said Laurie Scott, minister of labour. “We are lightening the burden on businesses and making sure that hard work is rewarded while proving to the world that Ontario is open for business. Businesses should have confidence in reasonable and predictable regulations. And everyone who works should have the confidence of a good job and a safe workplace.”

Read: Sounding Board: Ontario’s Bill 148 adds administrative burdens, costs for employers