Human Resources Legislative Update
Ontario Proposes Amendments to ESA Regulations in Anticipation of Bill 148 and to Administrative Monetary Penalties under ESA, EPFN
Date: October 17, 2017
On October 11, 2017, the Ontario government published proposed amendments to regulations made under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) which would be required if Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (Bill 148) is passed.
Proposed consequential amendments to O. Reg. 285/01 (Exemptions, Special Rules and Establishment of Minimum Wage) and O. Reg. 125/16 (Tips and Other Gratuities) are housekeeping in nature and would bring the regulations in line with the wording in Bill 148, if passed. Among other things, the proposed amendments include:
- removing the three-hour rule from O. Reg. 285/01, as this provision would be moved to the ESA (O. Reg. 285/01 s. 5(7));
- increasing the amount required to trigger the exemption from Part X (Public Holidays) of the ESA for construction employees who have been working with their employers for five or more years to align with the new vacation requirements in Bill 148 (O. Reg. 285/01 s. 9(2));
- revoking “Family Day” from s.1(1) of O. Reg. 285/01, which would now be included as a Public Holiday in the ESA; and
- consequential amendments to the references to minimum wage (O. Reg. 285/01) and “tips and gratuities” (O. Reg. 125/16).
On October 11, 2017, the government also published proposed amendments to O. Reg. 289/01(Enforcement) made under the ESA and O. Reg. 47/10 (Penalties) made under the Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act, 2009 (EPFN).
Proposed amendments to O. Reg. 289/01 would increase the amount of administrative penalties issued by Employment Standards Officers under a Notice of Contravention. The flat rate model and increases with subsequent contraventions in a three year period would be maintained.
Similar changes are proposed to the administrative monetary penalties under O. Reg. 47/10.
The government is inviting comments on these proposed changes by November 27, 2017.