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Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018

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Simon Bourgeois

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Dec 19, 2018
3 minute read

Wondering what the new Bill 47 is? No problem. Humi's got you covered. Here's what you need to know:


On November 21st, 2018, the Ontario Progressive Conservative government passed Bill 47, the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018, repealing several major employment and labour laws introduced by the Liberal government in 2017 (Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act).

Some aspects of Bill 148 remain such as extended parental and pregnancy leave, the right to three weeks of paid vacation after five consecutive years of employment and domestic or sexual violence leave, but several changes will significantly impact Canadian businesses.

Bill 47 predominantly affects the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and the Ontario Labour Relations Act (OLRA), 1995. Amendments to the ESA will come in to effect on January 1st, 2019, while changes to the OLRA came in to effect on November 21st, 2018.

The following highlights some of the key changes to the law:

Employment Standards Act (changes in effect January 1, 2019)


1. Minimum Wage - Minimum wage will be frozen at $14/hour. It is subject to an annual inflation adjustment on October 1st of every year starting in 2020.

2. Personal Emergency Leave - The amendment repeals the entitlement to Personal Emergency Leave (PEL), which currently provides employees with ten days of leave annually (the first two of which are paid) for personal or family illness or other urgent matters, and substitutes it with three unpaid sick days, three unpaid family responsibility leave days, and two unpaid bereavement leave days.

3. Employee Misclassification - Bill 47 will eliminate the reverse onus requirement on employers, introduced by Bill 148, to prove that independent contractors and other non-employees were not employees.

4. Scheduling - If an employee who regularly works more than 3 hours per day works less than 3 hours, despite being able to work, the employer must pay wages equal to the employee’s regular rate for 3 hours or the amount the employee earned for time worked plus the wages equal to the remainder of the time.

Ontario Labour Relations Act (changes already in effect, as of November 21st)


1. Card-based Certification - Card-based certification is no longer in effect in the building services industry, the home care, and community services industry or for temporary help agencies.

2. Fines - The maximum fines for offences under the LRA decrease to $2000 for individuals and $25,000 for organizations (i.e., the pre-Bill 148 amounts).

For more information, check out Bill 47 along with the explanatory note here





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Simon Bourgeois
Simon Bourgeois is the Chief Operating Officer at Humi and hasn't lost a game of foosball since 2014.



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