Bill 148 FAQ and Fact Sheet

Special thanks to Weiler, Maloney, Nelson for sharing this valuable information

Bill 148:  Frequently Asked Questions


This information is accurate as of November 16, 2017.  Bill 148 had not yet taken effect and as such, provisions and their interpretation are constantly changing. 

Click here to jump to the fact sheet below the FAQ.

Does the equal pay provision (section 42.1) apply to part time, casual, temporary, probationary, and seasonal employees?

Yes, the equal pay provision mandates that all employees who perform work that requires substantially the same skill, effort, and responsibility are compensated equally. This is subject to a few exemptions that may apply to part time, casual, temporary, probationary, and seasonal employees. A difference in pay is allowed when it is based on a seniority system, a merit system, or a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or any other factor other than sex or employment status.

This means that when employees are compensated according to seniority based on the number of hours worked for the company, a difference in pay is legally justified. Part time, casual, temporary, and seasonal employees are unlikely to have accumulated the same hours as full-time employees. However, they must be compensated equally when they do.

How different do the job descriptions for part-time staff need to be from full-time staff to avoid having to pay part time staff full time staff wages?

A change in job description without a change in actual work performance is unlikely to bring your organization under compliance with the changes Bill 148 proposes. To justify a difference in pay, the actual work completed, reflected accurately in the job description, must be substantially different in skill, effort, and responsibility.

An employer can set up a seniority system based on number of hours worked with the company to justify a difference in pay. Under this system, employees who have completed less hours of work for the employer would be compensated for less than employees with more hours completed. As stated above, part time employees are unlikely to have accumulated the same hours as full time employees.

Can employees refuse to work at certain work locations under the new legislation without reprisal/repercussions?

Bill 148 allows employees request a location change in writing, and mandates that employer considers this request, discusses the request with the employee, and notifies the employee of the decision within a reasonable time frame. It does not mandate that employers agree to every location change request regardless of feasibility.

Do casual employees have the right to refuse a shift or refuse being placed on call without reprisal/repercussion if there is less than 4 days notice provided?

Yes, employees have the right to refuse shifts or being placed on call if they are given less than 96 hours notice. This will likely have a significant impact on employers who rely on a flexible workforce. This may mean that employers will require a larger pool of on-call employees.

Does the new minimum three hours pay at regular rate apply to administrative employees, on-call employees, and casuals?

Yes, if any employee is placed on call and not called into work, they must be paid for three hours pay at their regular rate. This pay can only be applied once per day.

Does the minimum three hour pay at regular rate apply to managers, overtime exempt employees, and salaried employees?

This has yet to be determined, but the new ‘three hour rule’ will effect managers and overtime exempt employees differently depending on their form of compensation.

Purpose: The purpose of the three hour rule seems to be to compensate employees for time when they were required to be prepared and available to work, but were not called in, or called in for a time under three hours. The reasoning is that the employees are entitled to those wages because the ESA will deem them to have worked those hours. The intent of this provision is likely to compensate them in the same way as if they had worked for three hours on the day in question.

Salaried: Under the ESA, salaried employees are compensated for all non-overtime hours up to 44 hours a week, unless their contract states that the salary compensates them for fewer hours. Therefore, if a salaried employee worked 40 hours that week, was on call once and did not come in, they are deemed to have worked 43 hours that week, and their salary compensates them accordingly.

  • Managers and overtime exempt employees paid by salary without fixed hours would not typically be entitled to extra compensation because their salary should already compensate them for all required hours of work.
  • For managers and overtime exempt employees who are compensated on a fixed number of hours, their salaries should be adjusted to account for all additional on-call hours that are compensable under the new three hour rule.

Non-Salaried: Managers and overtime-exempt employees who are paid on an hourly basis are entitled to three hours pay at their regular rate for scheduled on-call shifts and times when they were required to come in to work for less than three hours.

Do I have to change my administrative contracts to reflect the new vacation standards?

All employment contracts must come into compliance with Bill 148. This means changing administrative contracts to reflect new vacation standards specified in the Fact Sheet.

How does giving employees substitute days off work?

Under Bill 148, an employee may agree to take a substitute day off work with holiday pay when they work on a public holiday. When this happens, the employer must provide the employee with a written statement which sets out the public holiday on which the employee will work, the date of the substitute holiday, and the date on which the statement was provided to the employee. Employers must keep records of this information.

How does the new paid personal emergency leave work?

  • Employers must provide 10 days of personal emergency leave to all employees for the reasons listed in the Fact Sheet, the first two of which must be paid.
  • An employee must work for the employer for at least 1 week before they are entitled to the two days of paid personal emergency leave.
  • If an employee uses a paid day of leave on a day they were entitled to overtime or shift premium, they will only be entitled to their regular wage.
  • Personal emergency leave applies in all workplaces regardless of the number of employees.

Can employers require employees to provide a doctor’s note when the employee takes one of 10 personal emergency leave days?

Under Bill 148, employers may not force employees to provide a doctor’s note, or any medical note, to prove the reason that the employee took one of 10 emergency leave days.



Special thanks to Chamber Members Weiler, Maloney, Nelson for supplying this information.

This handy Fact Sheet, also supplied by Weiler, Maloney, Nelson, offers an overview of the changes introduced by Bill 148. (PDF)

The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce' advocacy work is made possible thanks to the generous support of our

Cornerstone Members: