With 2018 well underway, changes in the landscape of Ontario employment law and policy have certainly given business owners and operators a lot to think about. However, with all these changes, it can be difficult, and potentially costly, to be unaware and abide. We understand how difficult it can be to operate a business which is why we’d like to take some time and review the prevalent changes that occurred most recently, as well as what the rest of 2018 has in store for your business and potentially your bottom line.
The Employment Insurance Act is Amended
As of December 3, 2017, employment insurance benefits were increased, permitting the payment of parental benefit over a period of 61 weeks at a lower rate, as well as allowing maternity benefits to be paid as early as the 12 prior to the expected week of birth. These changes also create a new benefit for family members to care for an adult or child who is critically ill.
Changes to Employment Standards Act & Introduction of the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act
On November 22, 2017, the Ontario government introduced the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, and it is responsible for making several important changes to the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act. These are among the most significant changes:
- As of January 1, 2018, general minimum wage is increased to $14 per hour, and will increase again to $15 per hour on January 1, 2019. Student minimum wage was also impacted and was increased to $13.15 per hour, while liquor servers’ minimum has been increased to $12.20 per hour.
- In the case of a personal emergency, employees can now take up to 10 days of leave with their jobs being protected. On top of that, the first two days of this leave are to be paid if the employee has been with the employer for one week or longer. While employers can request evidence of said emergency, employees are not required to provide a doctor’s note.
- If an employee has been employed for five years or more with the same employer, they are entitled to three weeks’ vacation time and are to accrue vacation pay at a 6 percent rate of gross earnings.
- Family Medical Leave has been increased from eight weeks in a 26-week period to up to 28 weeks in a 52-week period.
Taking This in Stride
The aforementioned are just a few of the many significant changes that have been enacted in the last year that will impact just about every Ontario business moving forward. As most of these changes have to do with employees, who better to help you navigate them and ensure your workforce stays strong than an employment professional. Not only will they be able to clearly explain all the changes in law and policy, they can also advise you on how to best move forward in light of them.
When it comes to changes that are going to impact your business and your employees, it is always best to contact a staffing professional who understands the intricate landscape of employment law and practices. Partner with Employment Professionals Canada today and gain the peace of mind that only experience can bring.