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Torkin Manes LegalPoint
Nov 23, 2018

Ontario Government Overturns Previous Labour Reforms

By Daniel Pugen and Shreya Patel

On November 21, 2018, Bill 47, the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018 received Royal Assent. Bill 47 repealed almost all of the labour and employment reforms enacted by the Wynne Government under Bill 148 just a year ago.

Bill 47 was passed in substantially the same form as it was tabled at the First Reading. As we previously reported, Bill 47 repealed notable Employment Standards Act, 2000 sections on minimum wage, personal emergency leave, public holiday pay, equal pay, and scheduling. Some of the notable amendments to the Labour Relations Act, 1995 include sections pertaining to certification in certain industries, employee list and bargaining unit structure. In short, the ESA and the LRA have been returned to substantially the same form as they were prior to Bill 148, except that employees no longer enjoy 10 personal emergency leave days. Instead, employees are now entitled to 3 sick days, 3 family responsibility days and 2 bereavement days (for a total of 8), all without pay. 

The amendments to the ESA come into force January 1, 2019 whereas the changes to the LRA are immediately in effect.

Employers should immediately review whether it is appropriate to change any policies or benefits implemented in the aftermath of Bill 148. If changes are to be made, employers should speak with our Labour Relations & Employment Group who can advise on this along with any transitional issues associated with Bill 47.