On June 1, 2017, the Ontario Government introduced Bill 148: The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. Bill 148 arises just shortly after the Ministry of Labour issued its Final Report in the Changing Workplace Review on May 25, 2017. The new Bill, which has just passed the first reading stage, implements some, but not all of the 173 recommendations given in the Final Report.
The most significant amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) contained in Bill 148 include:
Employees who have been employed for at least three months have the right to request changes to their schedule or work location.
Employees must be paid for a minimum of three hours at their regular rate for shifts under three hours or for being “on call”, regardless of whether they are actually called into work. This would be required for each 24-hour period that employees are on-call. If a shift is cancelled within 48 hours of its start, employees must be paid three hours at their regular rate of pay.
Employees have the right to refuse working on a day they were not scheduled to work if they were provided with less than four days’ notice.
For unionized employees, the terms of a collective agreement will prevail if there is conflict between these new rules and the collective agreement.
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