This is the second part of an article on the repealing of Bill#148 (The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act) by the Ontario PC government. For the first part, please click http://chinesenewsgroup.com/news/665577.
The following outline the other major changes to be implemented soon by Bill#47 :
Before: Bill 148 required employers to pay workers three hours of wages if they cancel shifts within 48 hours of their scheduled start time, with certain exceptions. Workers can also refuse shifts if their employer asks them to work with less than 96 hours’ notice, without fear of retaliation, with certain exceptions. It also gave workers the right to request changes to their schedules or work locations after three months of employment.
After: There will be no compensation for shifts cancelled with less than 48 hours' notice. Workers cannot decline shift changes with less than 96 hours' notice. Employers can put workers on-call on their days off. Workers will also no longer have the right to request changes to their schedule or work location. This will put the employers in a more competitive position with operational flexibility restored.
Before: Bill 148 introduced a number of changes to Ontario’s labour laws, including repealing restrictions on card-based union certification in building services, home care and temporary help agencies. It also required employers share lists of workers and their personal information with proposed bargaining unit attaining the support of at least 20% of the workers. Mediation and mediation-arbitration provisions as well as provisions for educational support relating to first collective agreements making it easier for workers to unionize.
After: Ontario PC government is restoring regulations restricting card-based union certification for building services, home care and temporary help agencies. It is repealing rules that require employers to share lists of workers and their personal information with union or union organizers. It is also repealing provisions to force the employers to speed up the process for first contracts.
Raising the Minimum Wage
Before: Ontario raised the minimum wage from $11.60 per hour to $14 on January 1, 2018 and scheduled to increase the minimum wage from $14 per hour to $15 per hour on January 1, 2019. This was opposed by the employers and it also pushed the workers' wages into a higher tax bracket resulting in a higher tax rate for them.
After: Ontario PC government is cancelling the minimum wage increase and freezing the minimum wage at $14 for nearly three years. Annual adjustments to the minimum wage tied to inflation would restart as of October 1, 2020. In exchange, workers making less than $30,000 are exempted from paying Ontario taxes.
The following will not be repealed by the new Bill #47:
·the 3-hour rule, insofar as employers are required to pay employees for 3 hours of work, where an employee who regularly works more than 3 hours a day is required to report to work, but works less than 3 hours;
·3 weeks of paid vacation after 5 years of employment; and
·leave entitlements in the case of domestic or sexual violence.
·the previous minimum wage increases.
I must give my readers some words of caution - employers who amended their collective agreement language with unions to reflect Bill#148 requirements are likely without recourse until they negotiate again. Whereas employers who haven’t made changes to their language may have more flexibility. Employers who are currently engaged in bargaining should ensure that, where possible, they use language that limits the employer’s obligations to statutory compliance.
Bill#47 will go through the legislative process with a high priority. With a majority PC government, its quick passage is guaranteed.
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