How will the Changes to the Employment Standards Act Affect my Business?

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ESAHow will the Changes to the Employment Standards Act Affect my Business?

If you are running a business, or are an employee, recent changes to the Ontario Employment Standards Act (“ESA”) will have an impact on you. The following is a summary of several changes to the ESA, many of which will take effect on January 1, 2018:

Paid Vacation: Starting January 1, 2018, employees with 5 years of service or more will be entitled to receive 3 weeks paid vacation.

Classification of workers: Penalties will be imposed on employers who misclassify workers as independent contractors. If a dispute arises as to the classification of a particular employee, the burden will be on the employer to confirm that the worker was something other than an employee.

Seasonal & Part-time employees: The new changes will ensure that part-time, temporary, seasonal, and casual employees will receive the same payment as full-time employees who are performing the same task. Some exceptions will apply if the employer can justify the differences in wages because of merit, seniority, or where pay is determined by quality or quantity of production.  Such changes are scheduled to take effect on April 1, 2018.

Minimum Wage:  The following are the proposed increases to the minimum wage:

  • On January 1, 2018, minimum wage will increase to $14.00 per hour;
  • On January 1, 2019, minimum wage will increase to $15.00 per hour.

Scheduling of work (to take effect on January 1, 2019):

  • New employees will have the right to request work location or schedule changes after 3 months of employment.
  • An employer must provide an employee with pay equivalent to their regular rate for 3 hours of work, rather than the minimum wage rate.
  • Employees will be able to turn down shifts including “on call” shifts if they are not provided with at least 4 days’ notice.
  • If an employee’s shift is cancelled within 48 hours, the employer must provide the employee with 3 hours’ wages at their normal rate.
  • If an employee is on call and does not get called to work, the employer must provide 3 hours of pay at the employee’s standard rate.

Personal Emergency Leave (to take effect on January 1, 2018):

  • Sexual violence, domestic violence and/or threats of such violence will be covered in the new ESA provisions.
  • Employees will not have to provide medical notes to support their claims for emergency leave.
  • Several changes have been made with respect to family medical leave, pregnancy leave and crime-related child death leave;

Please note that the above is not an exhaustive list of all the changes that will take place. The lawyers at Grinhaus Law Firm will navigate you through this process in order to protect your rights.  Grinhaus Law Firm is a boutique law firm conveniently located in mid-town Toronto. We have the experience and expertise necessary to help you.  For more information on this topic, feel free to call or email Grinhaus Law Firm for a free consultation.