Increased Paid Vacations and New Personal Emergency Days Also in Effect
Starting today, people across Ontario will see their wages rise $14 an hour as the new general minimum wage takes effect. This change will help workers and their families who are struggling to get ahead in a changing economy.
As part of Ontario’s Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, the minimum wage will increase again to $15 an hour on January 1, 2019, to be followed by annual increases at the rate of inflation.
Other provisions of the new provincial legislation that come into effect on January 1, 2018, include:
- Ensuring workers are entitled to at least three weeks’ vacation after five years with the same employer, bringing Ontario’s vacation time in line with the national average.
- Expanding the 10 days per calendar year for personal emergency leave to employees in workplaces with fewer than 50 employees, with at least two paid days per year for employees who have been employed for at least a week
- A new domestic or sexual violence leave of up to 10 individual days and up to 15 weeks of job-protected leave; the first five days of leave in every calendar year would be paid
- Increased family medical leave from 8 to 28 weeks per year
- A new child death leave from any cause up to 104 weeks and increased crime-related disappearance of a child leave from 52 to 104 weeks, and
- Changes to make forming a union and reaching a first collective agreement easier
Supporting workers and their families is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of Medicare in a generation.
- The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 responds to the final report of the Changing Workplaces Review. It was the first-ever independent review of both the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and Labour Relations Act, 1995.
- The report estimated that more than 30 percent of Ontario workers were in precarious work in 2014. In 2016, the median hourly wage was $13.00 for part-time workers and $24.73 for full-time workers. Over the past 30 years, part-time work has grown to represent nearly 20 percent of total employment.
- Studies show that a higher minimum wage results in less employee turnover, which increases business productivity.
“Our plan for fair workplaces and better jobs provides a minimum wage people can actually live on and modernizes our labour laws to adapt to an ever-changing economy. Too many families struggle to get by on part-time or temporary work. Those working full-time can be living in poverty. This is unacceptable in Ontario. Our plan will help ensure everyone who works hard has the chance to reach their full potential and share in Ontario’s prosperity.”
— Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour