The following is an edited summary of the changes resulting from Bill 148, as issued by ETFO on January 23, 2018.
On November 27, 2017 the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (also called Bill 148) received Royal Assent and is now the law in Ontario. Bill 148 makes changes to the Employment Standards Act, the Labour Relations Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, as well as a number of other provincial statutes.
The most widely publicized aspect of Bill 148 has been the change to the minimum wage, which rose to $14 as of January 1, 2018 and will increase to $15 as of January 1, 2019.
Bill 148 also includes a number of significant changes that will make unionization easier and provide workers with:
- expanded personal emergency leave entitlements;
- expanded parental leave entitlements to match changes to Employment Insurance;
- leave from work for victims of domestic and sexual violence;
- expanded rights to unpaid leave to take care of a critically ill family member;
- “equal pay for equal work” for casual, part-time, temporary and seasonal workers; and
- fairer workplace scheduling rules.
Most of the changes implemented by Bill 148 came into force on January 1, 2018. Some of the changes (for example, the scheduling rules and the “equal work for equal pay” provisions) will come into force later in 2018 or in 2019.
Impact of Bill 148 on ETT Members
Please be advised that we are still working with ETFO to develop definitive answers regarding Bill 148’s impact on members’ collective agreement rights and obligations.
Updates regarding Bill 148 will be posted as necessary to ensure that members are made aware of and receive the full benefit of the changes made under this new legislation.
If you have any questions about Bill 148 please contact your Executive Officer.
On personal emergency leave:
- Personal emergency leave under the Employment Standards Act is now comprised of 2 paid days and 8 unpaid days per calendar year to cover personal emergencies and other urgent matters.
- These paid and unpaid personal emergency days per calendar year might be accessible to members, depending on the circumstances of each individual case.
On providing medical notes:
- Because of the changes made under Bill 148, ETFO’s position at this time is that as of January 1, 2018 employers in Ontario cannot require an employee to provide a medical note for the first 10 days of personal sick leave, regardless of any terms in the local collective agreement stating otherwise.
- If you have taken 10 or fewer personal sick days this year and are being told by a school board representative that you must submit a medical note to justify those personal sick days, please contact your Executive Officer as soon as possible so the facts of the situation can be reviewed.