Bill 148, also known as the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs 2017, has brought changes to the Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (ESA), Labour Relations Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act. While the most obvious change was the January 1st increase in the general minimum wage to $14 per hour (from $11.60), there are other changes which have not received the same publicity.
For example, the new legislation simplifies the formula for calculating public holiday pay so that employees are entitled to their average regular daily wage in the two weeks prior to the public holiday. These new calculations apply to the nine official public holidays under ESA and any other public holidays agreed to between employer/employee. The new legislation also provides for three weeks of vacation time, or 6% vacation pay, after five years of employment with the same employer and it changes leave entitlements for issues such as personal emergencies and family medical reasons. In April 2018, there are new equal pay for equal work provisions, potentially affecting part-time, casual and temporary employees.
To help you understand these changes and how they might affect library employees, you can use the updated Guide to the Employment Standards Act. Better still, you might consider participating in an upcoming SOLS webinar on this topic. We have invited an Employment Standards Officer to host two, hour-long online information sessions on the changes to ESA. You can register for sessions on either February 27th and March 22nd using LearnHQ.