Every once in a while it seems prudent to look in on the whole business of labour legislation. In this blog I have done so back in December of 2017 and previously in June of the same year. Just when you think you have things all sorted out, somebody goes and changes the rules – again.
Labour legislation is, of course, the domain of the provincial government. Here in Ontario it is dealt with mainly through the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act. The previous Liberal government introduced a bunch of sweeping changes back in 2017 through Bill 148. It included things like a new minimum wage, equal pay for equal work changes, overtime considerations, vacations and holidays. The list goes on. It was truly an omnibus bill considering the sweeping changes it brought about.
Guess what? Times change and the Liberals are no longer in power. The Conservatives have introduced Bill 47 which received Royal Assent in November of last year. Additionally, Bill 66 received Royal Assent this past December. The two pieces of legislation deal with changes to the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act with an additional pair of changes to the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act.
The Conservative intent is to declare Ontario open for business yet again. So much of Bill 148 has been either modified or repealed that it can pretty much be considered null and void. That said, some parts of the Bill have been retained. It really makes sense for employers and employees to familiarize themselves with the changes brought about by the new legislation. Always fun staying current with the law.
What does all of this mean? While Bill 148 came off as being highly skewed towards employees, Bills 47 and 66 are very pro business – often at the expense of employees. The list of changes and amendments is rather daunting. Whatever side you would tend to be on would no doubt line up with whether you are employer or employee.
Pushing for yet more change would depend on how effective you are at lobbying with your MPP and how much pull they have in government. If people collectively don’t like what’s happening, they should make this known through their votes. Welcome to democracy.
We can certainly help with keeping on top of the financial changes for our clients. Additional information is also available online. I’d be happy to discuss them with you and point you in the right direction. All you need do is ask.
BTW, anyone ready for spring?