New Employment Laws on Sick Pay, Vacation Leave and Unions Will Affect Businesses in Ontario
Mar 06, 2017 04:22 AM EST
Change is coming to businesses in Ontario as the province is set to welcome new labor and employment laws. The Liberal government will receive recommendations that could result in critical reforms to the employment laws in Ontario since the early ‘90s.
According to Toronto's CBC News, these reforms that could impact businesses in Ontario include mandatory sick pay, improvement in paid vacation, changes in overtime policies and advanced scheduling as well as increased opportunities for joining a union. Ontario Chamber of Commerce vice president Karl Baldauf issued an official statement on the upcoming reforms.
"We're challenging whether or not such sweeping reforms are necessary,” Baldauf said in an interview with CBC News. "We have to make sure that you're not putting businesses in a position where they will actually be less inclined to hire or less inclined to expand as a result of new, onerous regulations.”
In a meeting with Ontario Labor Minister Kevin Flynn, Baldauf urged the administration to make changes if it has obtained sufficient details about costs and benefits. Canadian politician and Ontario Premiere Kathleen Wynne requested a comprehensive review of the labor and employment laws being carried out among businesses in Ontario, focusing on risky employment circumstances and vulnerable employees.
Businesses in Ontario have been discussing the potential reforms since an interim report was released last year, putting forward over 200 proposals. The final report is set to be submitted to Flynn in the next few weeks.
Keep Ontario Working, an association of employer groups, issued its statement about the possible reforms, saying that the government should not approve public policy changes that would put businesses at risk. "We're hopeful that the government takes serious measures to help all workers, whether they belong to a union or not," Ontario Federation of Labour president Chris Buckley stated.
Some of the measures considered that will affect businesses in Ontario include the banning of replacement workers during lockouts and strikes, giving domestic workers permission to join unions and altering the policies about the creation of unions in industries that are typically non-unionized.
Currently, Ontario's Employment Standards Act does not require businesses in Ontario to offer payment for sick days. The present law also requires a minimum of two weeks for employees’ annual paid vacation. The government is then considering whether such period can be boosted to up to three weeks. Advisers are also discussing the pros and cons of recommending a policy that would oblige employers to give employees advance notice in terms of schedules.