Bill 148 Receives Royal Assent – What You Need to Know


Bill 148 Receives Royal Assent – What You Need to Know

Date: November 28, 2017

On November 27, 2017, Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (Bill 148) received Royal Assent, and is now law. Bill 148 makes significant changes to the workplace laws of Ontario. Read more to learn critical coming into force information.

Bill 148 amends the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (LRA) and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). As well, it makes consequential amendments to a number of other statutes.

Most provisions of Bill 148 come into force on January 1, 2018, including all amendments to the LRA.

There are, however, several exceptions to the general January 1, 2018 coming into force date which relate to the ESA.

Certain provisions of Bill 148 that amend the ESA come into force prior to January 1, 2018:

  • the employee classification requirements (i.e. the prohibition on misclassification and reverse onus to prove an individual is not an employee) came into force immediately with Royal Assent (November 27, 2017)
  • the extended parental leave provisions come into force on December 3, 2017
  • the new Critical Illness Leave and consequential record-keeping amendments come into force on December 3, 2017.

Changes to Part XII of the ESA (Equal Pay for Equal Work) will come into force on April 1, 2018. Among other things, these amendments will:

  • amend the existing equal pay for equal work provisions
  • add a requirement that provides for equal pay for equal work, regardless of difference in employment status or assignment employee status, applicable to both employers and temporary help agencies, with corresponding provisions protecting employees from reprisals.

The new scheduling provisions of the ESA will come into force on January 1, 2019. This includes the new minimum on call pay and minimum cancellation pay, the new right to refuse work or on call status, and the new right to request changes to work schedules or locations. The new provisions also include a revised three-hour rule (though note that the existing three-hour rule will remain in force until the new provision takes effect in 2019).

The amendments to the OHSA (generally prohibiting a requirement for elevated heels, subject to limited exceptions) came into force on Royal Assent (November 27, 2017).

For more information on all changes brought about by Bill 148, see our recent FTR Nows (which are best read in conjunction with one another):

Ontario Proposes Legislative Overhaul of Labour Relations Act, 1995 in Bill 148 – Are you Prepared? (June 5, 2017)

Bill 148 and the ESA – Changes are on the Horizon for Ontario Employers (June 7, 2017)

Big Changes to Bill 148 after Committee Review (August 25, 2017)

More Changes to Bill 148 after Second Committee Review (November 17, 2017)

We strongly encourage you to work with your Hicks Morley lawyer to ensure that your organization is ready to comply with all of Bill 148’s changes.

The article in this client update provides general information and should not be relied on as legal advice or opinion. This publication is copyrighted by Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP and may not be photocopied or reproduced in any form, in whole or in part, without the express permission of Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP. ©