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December 8, 2017

In 2017, Ontario workers fought for and won significant changes to Ontario’s labour and employment laws.

This remarkable work by labour and community activists has made positive changes to the lives of workers for decades to come. While the fight isn’t over until everyone has fair treatment in the workplace, take some time this holiday to celebrate a successful year of winning change through solidarity.

Through 2017, the tireless work of labour and community activists across Ontario made changes to Bill 148.

The Employment Standards Act now:

  1. Increases the minimum wage to $14 per hour in 2018 and $15 per hour in 2019;
  2. Mandates equal pay for equal work for part-time, temporary, seasonal, casual, temp agency workers relative to full-time employees – with some exceptions;
  3. Requires temp agency workers to be paid the same as client employees with one week notice if terminated after three months on the job;
  4. Extends greater coverage to Crown employees under the Employment Standards Act;
  5. Prohibits the misclassification of employees as independent contractors;
  6. Provides an extra week of vacation after five years of service with the same employer at six per cent of wages;
  7. Extends Personal Emergency Leave to all workers – two of which are paid days and can be used as sick days with no medical note required;
  8. Provides five paid days for survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence, followed by job-protected leave;
  9. Provides fairer scheduling rules, including pay for on-call duty (3 hours pay at regular rate); pay for call-in shifts (3 hours pay at regular rate); pay for cancelled shifts with less than 48 hours notice (3 hours regular pay); and protection for refusing shifts with less than 96 hours notice;
  10. Prohibits unionized workers from being unfairly disadvantaged, requiring all collective agreement to comply with the minimum standards outlined in the Employment Standards Act;
  11. Declares Family Day a statutory public holiday;
  12. Provides 12 weeks leave for pregnancy loss, 1.5 years for pregnancy and parental leave, 104 weeks for death or disappearance of child;
  13. Makes it easier to treat related businesses as a single employer and hold them accountable to workers;
  14. Simplifies overtime pay calculations;
  15. Eliminates the requirement for employees to raise Employment Standards Act concerns with their employer before filing a claim; and,
  16. Ensures that all new protections under the Employment Standards Act come into effect as of January 1, 2018 with the following exceptions: misclassification (November 27, 2017); parental and critical illness leaves (December 3, 2017); equal pay for equal work (April 1, 2018); and scheduling (January 1, 2019).

Read more best of 2017:

Best of 2017 – 16 wins in the Employment Standards Act
Best of 2017 – 12 ways we organized to win
Best of 2017 – 12 wins for workers in the Labour Relations Act
Best of 2017 – 14 ways we worked together for equity in 2017

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