LAWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
May 7: Ontario’s legislative activism in the employment realm continues with the adoption of Bill 3, the Pay Transparency Act which will officially take effect on Jan. 1, 2019. Highlights:
- Mandatory listing of salary rates or ranges in all publicly advertised job postings
- Ban on asking job applicants how much they made with previous employers
- Ban on reprisals against employees for discussing or disclosing how much they make
- New framework for tracking and reporting gaps in pay based on gender.
May 8: Also receiving Royal assent was Bill 53 requiring firms that enter into government contracts in the construction, building cleaning and security jobs sector to pay their fair and market-based wages. The Government Contract Wages Act gives the government authority to set minimum pay rates for contractors within the covered sectors.
May 8: In a surprising move, Ontario has reversed a controversial provision in the massive Bill 148 ESA reform measures that took effect in Jan. dealing with public holiday pay. The employer community and other critics criticized the new Bill 148 rule requiring calculation of public holiday pay on wages in the pay period immediately before the holiday as costly and confusing especially to the extent it applied to part-time workers who worked as little as 1 day in the prior period. The government has relented and restored the old public holiday pay formula based on wages in the 4 weeks before the work week of the holiday divided by 20, effective July 1.
April 18: On Jan. 1, 2017, new temporary rules took effect granting auto workers in companies with 50 or more employees 7 days of PEL and 3 more days for a family member death. A year later, the 50-employee threshold was removed and leave became mandatory within the entire auto sector. Now the government will review the new rules and their impact on competitiveness and determine whether to keep them in effect.
On Deck: The Next Wave of Bill 148 ESA Changes
|EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2019|
|General Minimum Wage||Increases from $14 to $15 per hour|
|Employee Work Schedule Refusal Right||· Right to refuse employer request to work unscheduled day on less than 96 hours’ notice unless work is to deal with emergency or public threat to health or safety
· Right to request changes to work schedule or location after 3 months’ employment—if request denied, employer must furnish reasons in writing
|Call-In Pay||· Employees “on call” who aren’t called to work or are called and work less than 3 hours entitled to 3 hours’ wages
· Employer must pay 3 regular hours’ wages if it cancels employee’s scheduled day of work or on-call period on less than 48 hours’ notice
April: The MOL published its ESA Blitz schedule for the rest of 2018:
|Inspection Initiative||Target Sector(s)||Dates|
|Province-wide Blitz||Construction||May 1 to Aug. 31|
|Eastern Region||Small retail/grocers||June 1 to Sept. 28|
|Western Region||Golf courses||June 1 to Sept. 30|
|Northern Region||Hotel/motel accommodations||Aug. 1 to Oct. 31|
|Central East Region||Small/independent retailers||Sept. 1 to Dec. 31|
|Central West Region||Retail trade (non-restaurant/grocery)||Oct. 1 to Jan. 1, 2019|
May 3: New background checking rules for employment and other purposes take effect on Nov. 1. While the privacy rules will be stricter, the new Police Record Checks Reform Act should actually make life easier for employers by establishing a standard process for checks that are currently subject to 3 different sets of rules:
- Criminal records checks
- Criminal record and judicial matters checks
- Vulnerable sector checks.
May 1: Regulations (O. Reg. 250/18) implementing the new going concern valuation and funding regime for DB pension plans took effect. A week later, FSCO issued the solvency estimates for DB plans across Ontario in the first quarter of 2018:
- Median solvency ratio: 95% (as opposed to 94% in Q4 2017)
- Plans with solvency ratio between 85% and 100%: 53.1%
- Plans with solvency ratio above 100%: 32.4%.
May 10: The WCB ended its review of lump sum benefit payments for a worker’s work-related death. The headliner: Increasing the lump sum benefit amount, currently $10,000, to 40% of the Maximum Assessable Earnings for the year in which the fatality occurred in accordance with the way it’s done in most jurisdictions.