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Big Changes to Ontario Labour and Employment Laws

January 4, 2018

Employers with operations in Ontario should be aware of some newly enacted changes to the Employment Standards Act. On Nov. 22, 2017, the Province of Ontario introduced the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (“Act”). This new legislation makes several important changes to both the Employment Standards Act, 2000, and the Labour Relations Act, 1995. The Act has made the following changes to the Employment Standards Act starting on Jan. 1, 2018: 

Additionally, effective April 1, 2018, employers will be required to pay part-time, casual, temporary, and seasonal employees who perform substantially the same kind of work in the same workplace the same wage rates as their full-time counterparts. Temporary help agencies must pay employees who are doing substantially the same work in the same workplace as the other employees of the agency’s client at the same rate as regular employees of the agency’s client.

To enforce these changes, the Province of Ontario is hiring up to 175 more employment standards officers and will be offering programming to educate both employees and businesses about their rights and obligations under the new provisions.

Furthermore, the Act has made the following important changes to the Labour Relations Act starting on Jan. 1, 2018: 

These lists are not exhaustive and employers with operations in Ontario should fully review their workplace policies in light of all the changes that have recently been made. If you have any questions related to this or any other employment law matter, please contact your Miller Canfield attorneys.