On November 21, 2018 the Making Ontario Open For Business Act, 2018 (“Bill 47”) received Royal Assent and became law in Ontario.

Bill 47 repeals many of the changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (“LRA”) introduced last year by the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (“Bill 148”), including:

  • sections of the ESA prohibiting employers from paying part-time and temporary employees lower rates than full-time, non-temporary employees;
  • the requirement under the ESA that employers provide 2 paid and 8 unpaid days of personal emergency leave per calendar year, to be replaced by 3 unpaid sick leave days, 3 unpaid family responsibility leave days, and 2 unpaid bereavement leave days;
  • sections of the ESA not yet in force which entitle employees to refuse shifts assigned with less than 96 hours’ notice;
  • sections of the LRA requiring employers to disclose lists of employees to organizing unions, to be replaced with a provision requiring unions to destroy such lists currently in their possession; and
  • sections of the LRA making mediation mandatory for unions and employers unable to negotiate a first collective agreement.

Exceptions to Bill 47’s near wholesale repeal of Bill 148 include:

  • three weeks’ paid vacation for employees with at least five years’ service; and
  • three hours’ minimum pay for employees required to attend work but who in fact work less than three hours (referred to as the “three hour rule”- please note that this section is not yet in force).

With minor exceptions, Bill 47’s amendments to the ESA will come into force January 1, 2019. The amendments to the LRA came into force with Royal Assent on November 21, 2018.

Please see our transition table for a detailed look at each affected ESA and LRA provision, including coming into force dates.