Ontario’s Employment and Labour Legislation Facing Big Changes

The Liberal government of Ontario has confirmed a release date for its long-awaited Changing Workplaces Review, which solicited feedback on, and will make recommendations regarding changes to, the province’s Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act. The government is targeting the week of May 22, immediately following the Victoria Day holiday.

Both CBC and the Toronto Star are reporting that the government expects to proceed with significant reforms to the province’s existing labour and employment legislation.  Although precise details are not yet available, news outlets are suggesting that Ontario employers can expect the following changes:

•             An increase in the minimum number of paid vacation days per year;
•             The introduction of paid sick leave;
•             Greater access to emergency leave;
•             An increase to minimum wage;
•             Enhanced successor rights for unions;
•             Providing certain sectors of the economy with access to card-based certification;
•             Ensuring pay equity between part and full time employees; and
•             Giving independent contractors access to the minimum standards.

Links to the news stories referred to in this post can be found here (Toronto Star) and here (CBC).

We will watch closely for the release of the final version of the Changing Workplaces Review and provide full updates as new information becomes available.