Bill 47 Will Impact All Employers of Ontario Workers

The Ontario Progressive Conservatives have just introduced Bill 47, their first foray into employment law. It repeals many of the provisions of the Ontario Liberals’ Bill 148, which made sweeping changes to Ontario’s employment landscape. Bill 47 will roll back holiday pay calculations and the treatment of some leaves, and substantially change how employers of Ontario workers calculate pay for assignment workers.

Here are some of the highlights:

What’s Changed

Misclassification is still an ESA violation but the burden of proof is shared by employees. The potential penalties for misclassification remain the same: employers and incorporated contractors may both be fined or ordered to pay back taxes.

Holiday Pay calculations for non-salaried workers have reverted back to the pre-Bill 148 method of last four weeks of earnings divided by 20.

Personal Emergency Leave now includes 3 unpaid sick days, 3 unpaid family responsibility days, 2 unpaid bereavement days. These leaves are conditional on the employee having worked for 2 weeks. Employers can request a medical note for any of them.

Equal Pay for Temporary Workers has been repealed entirely. There is no longer an obligation to offer equal pay to your in house workforce and to staffing agency assignment workers.

Employers of remote or augmented staff in Ontario should consider Bill 47 an opportunity to do a deep dive into their employment agreements. We expect the Conservative government to unveil additional employment legislation in the new year, so beginning an employment audit now puts you ahead of the game.

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