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Bill 148: Things You Need To Know

19 Dec 2017

Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Betters Jobs Act, 2017 is now in force, and it has substantially changed the landscape of employment and Labour Law in Ontario. 

Its critical to get up-to speed on the many changes Employer Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (LRA) that your business needs to comply with.

Here’s just a few of the things that you need to get working on now.

DISCLAIMER: This information does not constitute as legal advice.


Minimum Wage

Minimum wage will increase to $14 an hour on January 1, 2018.


Parental Leave

Parental leave is increased to 61 weeks from 35 weeks for employees who take a pregnancy leave, and 63 weeks from 37 weeks for employees who do not.

Employee Classification

Bill 148 amended the ESA to expressly prohibit the misclassification of employees. This is largely directed at employers who have previously misidentified employees as independent contractors and who are exempt from the ESA. If an independent contractor disputes his/her classification, it will now be the responsibility of the employer to prove that an individual is an independent contractor and not an employee.


Critical Illness Leave


Previously, the ESA contained a “Critical Ill Child Care Leave”, which provided 37 weeks of leave within a 52 week period for a parent or legal guardian to provide care and support to a critically ill child under the age of 18. Bill 148’s new “Critical Illness Leave” replaces the “Critically Ill Child Care Leave.” This new leave encompasses two basic entitlements:

  • a leave of up to 37 weeks in a 52-week period for an employee to provide care or support to a critically ill minor child (i.e. who is under 18 years of age) who is a family member of the employee, and
  • a leave of up to 17 weeks in a 52-week period for an employee to provide care or support to a critically ill adult who is a family member of the employee.


These are just some of things you need to know now. For a more comprehensive overview of the many changes to the ESA and the LRA, we encourage you to consult this handbook which was released by MNP, a Canadian accounting firm, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, to help Ontario's business community navigate the changes from Bill 148 (Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act).

The handbook outlines the potential risks employers can expect from Bill 148, and offers human resources and operational strategies to help mitigate the impact.

The Newmarket Chamber of Commerce will be hosting an information session about Bill 148 with Minken Employment Law and a representative from the Ministry of Labour, to help employers better understand how their employment rights and obligations will change as the many provisions of this new legislation come into force. Click here for more details.

13 Nov, 2018

On October 23, the Government of Ontario announced Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018 which includes a near-full repeal of Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, and improvements to Ontario's apprenticeship system.

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