Photo Credit - Alex Robert
Photo Credit – Alex Robert

The Ontario government has been reviewing employment laws and labour standards in Ontario, the first such major review since the mid-1990s. A package of reforms is expected to be released next week.  “Changing Workplaces” has been a two-year review, headed by outside experts Michael Mitchell and John Murray.  The Ministry of Labour’s website contains the interim report (its only 312 pages, if you’re looking for a good read) and details on the review.

Although not yet available to the public, some Canadian news sources are starting to report on the likely contents, including the Toronto Star and CBC.

According to the media reports, the Changing Workplaces will address widespread reforms, including:

  • Increasing minimum wage, up to $15 an hour (up from the current $11.40)
  • Dealing with the increase in precarious and temporary worker jobs
  • Requiring the same pay rate for employees in part-time positions performing the same job
  • Protection for independent contractors doing the work of an employee
  • Increasing the minimum paid vacation days per year
  • Introducing paid sick leave
  • Expanding emergency leave to employees at companies with less than 50 workers
  • Eliminating some of the current exemptions to expand certain worker rights
  • Increasing private sector unionization support
  • Expanding successor rights for unions

Stay tuned for more updates as the reforms are released.