Proposed Changes to Employment Standards

A proposed legislation, known as “Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017”, was proposed by the Ontario government that includes amendments to Labour Relations Act and Employment Standards Act.

Ontario’s economy is getting stronger and booming for the past years but the worker’s’ condition is getting worse. Many workers are struggling in their contractual, part-time or minimum wage jobs and can’t even support their families well. The legislative amendments are aiming to create more opportunities as well as security for all workers in Ontario.

Minimum Wage Increase

The government is proposing to increase the minimum wage rates from $14 per hour to $15 per hour on January 1, 2019. Meanwhile, the special minimum wage rates for students below 18, liquor servers, home workers and hunting and fishing guides will be increased by the same percentage of the general minimum wage.

The new proposed legislation wants to impose an equal pay for equal work provisions. In this proposal, part-time, temporary, casual and seasonal employees will be paid the same as full-time employees when the same job is performed by the same employer.

Wage review

Moreover, the proposed amendments will allow employees to ask for a ‘review’ of their wages if they did not receive the same amount of wages with full-time employees. The employer is expected to adjust the payment or provide a letter of explanation.


However, requirements for providing equal wages to all type of employees will have a number of exemptions. If the difference in wages is according to the seniority system, merit system, systems based on pay by quantity or quality of production and other reasonable factors, the provision for equal pay will not be applied.

Protection will also be given for contractual, temporary, seasonal and part-time employees against any act of repercussions for requesting a review of their wage rate or asking another employee regarding the same matter. When approved, the proposed legislation will be implemented on the first day of April, 2018.

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