Major Changes Coming to Workplaces in Halton Soon
Over the past few months, there's been an intense focus on what many have seen as long-standing issues in the workplace—namely a low minimum wage, lack of vacation time and and equal pay.
Now, it appears aspects of work are about to fundamentally change.
The Ontario government recently reminded people of what to expect when its Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs Act goes into effect.
As most people know, the minimum wage is set to climb to $15 an hour over a one year period, first increasing to $14 per hour on Jan. 1, 2018 and climbing to $15 on Jan. 1, 2019.
The act will also mandate equal pay for part-time, temporary, casual and seasonal employees doing the same job as full-time employees; as well as equal pay for temporary help agency employees doing the same job as employees at the agencies’ client companies
Other changes will include the expansion of personal emergency leave to 10 days per calendar year for all employees with at least two paid days per year for employees who have been employed for at least a week
The act will also ban employers from requiring a physician’s sick note from an employee taking personal emergency leave
In good news for employees starved for a little time away, the province says the act will bring Ontario’s vacation time in line with the national average by ensuring at least three weeks’ vacation after five years with the same employer.
The new policy will also provide up to 17 weeks off without the fear of employment loss when a worker or their child experiences or is threatened with domestic or sexual violence, including a paid leave for the first five days
The act will require employees to be paid for three hours of work if their shift is cancelled within 48 hours of its scheduled start time.
To enforce these changes, the province is hiring up to 175 more employment standards officers. It is also launching a program to educate both employees and businesses about their rights and obligations under the Employment Standards Act.
"Our new legislation addresses the needs of the modern workplace and provides a minimum wage that workers can actually live on," says Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour. "The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act will help ensure everyone who works hard has the chance to reach their full potential and share in Ontario's prosperity."
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