JUST THE FACTS - BILL 47 (Employment Standards Act, Ontario)

Ontario Employment Standards Act (2000)

Do you remember when the Liberals were rolling out Bill 148? All the publications, advertisements and general fanfare? Whether you agreed with the changes or not, everyone knew about Bill 148, or the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act 2017.

Now, with a new provincial government in place, changes are being made again. Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018. The press has been relatively quiet and honestly, so many people I've talked to have NO IDEA of the changes that took effect January 1 2019.

This is not a space to get political. As an HR professional I do my best to keep my personal opinions out of employment law. I believe it is my duty to share the facts and make sure that everyone knows their basic employment rights.

A full PDF copy of Bill 47 is available here.


Minimum Wage - Minimum will remain frozen at $14/ hour until 2020, when it will resume being adjusted per inflation. All other special minimum raises (eg. homeworkers and servers) will also be frozen until 2020.

Scheduling - 3 hours pay for on call requirement is repealed as well as the right to refuse being called in without proper notice and requests for scheduling changes after 3 months of employment.

Personal Days - Eliminated 10 protected leave days (including 2 paid) and replaces with 3 unpaid leaves. Employers are allowed to ask for medical documentation for sick days.

Stat Holiday Pay - Reintroduces the prorated public holiday pay formula.

Equal Pay for Equal Work - Employees are no longer entitled to equal pay when considering status, eg. part-time vs. full-time or contract/temp vs. permanent. Equal pay on the basis of gender is still required, as sex discrimination is against the charter of human rights.

Samantha BellComment