Today, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced proposed changes to Ontario labour laws in response to Ontario’s Changing Workplaces Review, which was released last week.
Highlights of the proposed legislation will include raising the minimum wage to $14/hr in 2018 and $15/hr in 2019, requiring all employers to provide 2 days personal emergency leave per year, and mandating a minimum of 3 weeks of vacation/year. Full details of the proposed Fair Workplace, Better Jobs Act, 2017 can be found here.
For the ICT industry, there are a few areas which may be of relevance:
- Tweaks could make it easier for employees to form a union (e.g. requiring the employer to provide contact details for all employees once 20% sign on).
- Equal Pay for equal work provisions – which would ensure casual, contract or temporary employees are paid equally to full-time employees performing the same job (with exemptions for seniority or merit).
- A prohibition on employers misclassifying employees as “independent contractors,” with a process for employees to challenge their classification.
ITAC is closely monitoring this issue. The biggest recommendation from the Changing Workplaces Review for the ICT industry – reviewing the exemption for “IT Professionals” under the Employment Standards Act – was not included in today’s announcement. We expect this review to begin in the fall.
If you have any questions or if there are areas where you think ITAC should engage government, please contact David Messer, VP Policy, ITAC at firstname.lastname@example.org.