Ontario’s Proposed Fair Workplaces & Better Jobs PlanWhat will an increase to minimum wage, combined with a host of other changes to employment standards, mean to your business?
On May 30th, the Ontario Government announced the Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs Plan which proposes numerous changes to current labour and employment standards legislation, including:
- Raising Ontario’s general minimum wage from $11.40 to $14 per hour on January 1, 2018, and then to $15 on January 1, 2019, followed by annual increases at the rate of inflation
- Mandating equal pay for part-time, temporary, casual and seasonal employees doing the same job as full-time employees; and equal pay for temporary help agency employees doing the same job as permanent employees at the agencies’ client companies
- Expanding personal emergency leave to include an across-the-board minimum of at least two paid days per year for all workers
- Ensuring at least three weeks’ vacation after five years with a company
- Updating employee scheduling rules, including requiring employees to be paid for three hours of work if their shift is cancelled within 48 hours of its scheduled start time.
- Read the Government Release and Backgrounder for more information.
Your Chamber’s Position:
The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce applauds the spirit and intent of the Plan and we recognize the importance of fair wages and working conditions, however we feel the Ontario government has not considered the unintended consequences the very short period of implementation will have for the most vulnerable employers.
What We’re Doing for You:
Since the information was initially released at the end of May, we’ve been engaged with other members of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Keep Ontario Working Coalition to understand the unintended consequences of the Plan and provide the Ontario government with realistic projections.
- We gathered initial feedback from Chamber Members and in mid-June we sent this letter to MPPs Hon. Michael Gravelle and Hon. Bill Mauro on behalf of many concerned business owners.
- On June 21 we hosted a meeting with Secretary of the Cabinet Steve Orsini during which Chamber Members from the retail, hospitality, foodservice, automotive, financial and manufacturing sectors described the impacts the Plan will have on their sectors.
- On July 4, 2017 we hosted an Info Session with Warren Mouck of Cheadles LLP (view the FB Live video) at TownePlace Suites by Marriott.
- On July 10, 2017 we made a Presentation to Standing Committee on Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs (view the FB Live video)
- On August 14, 2017 the partnership between local Chambers, the Ontario Chamber and the Keep Ontario Working Coalition released the Economic analysis report, “Measuring the Potential Economic Impacts of the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017: A risk assessment for Ontarians”, with the attached Report Methodology.
- On September 5, 2017 we held a private Members’ Forum with MPPs Bill Mauro and Michael Gravelle to give Members a chance to share their concerns face-to-face.
How You Can Participate:
- Contact us to be included on the issues list: you’ll receive emailed updates on our activities and invitations to events held as part of our efforts.
- Speak out! In order to be effective representatives on our behalf, our elected officials need to be made aware that these changes will have consequences for the businesses within their constituency. Be in touch with your MPP (see the sidebar to the right for contact info!) to let them know how this will affect your business. Be sure to CC us so we can include your feedback in future discussions.
“We had planned to renovate and expand our business but I’m afraid these cost increases may result in delays or outright cancellation of those plans.”- Local grocer
“I am very concerned about the future of my business under these higher costs.”- Local autobody shop
“My product prices are set by the clothing manufacturer; profit margins are slim and I worry about where the money is coming from to keep my business in operation.”- Local clothing retailer
Resources Related to Ontario’s Proposed Fair Workplaces & Better Jobs Plan
- May 30, 2017 ON Government Announcement
- May 30, 2017 ON Government Backgrounder
- June 17, 2017 Our letter to MPPs Hon. Michael Gravelle and Hon. Bill Mauro
- July 4, 2017 Info Session with Warren Mouck of Cheadles LLP (FB Live video)
- July 10, 2017 Thunder Bay Chamber’s Presentation to Standing Committee on Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs (FB Live video)
- August 14, 2017 Economic analysis report, “Measuring the Potential Economic Impacts of the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017: A risk assessment for Ontarians”
- August 14, 2017 Report Methodology
- September 27, 2017: Final economic analysis by CANCEA
- September 27, 2017: Report: The Flip Side of Fair
- Visit the issue page for current news.