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Big labour changes for Ontario small business

The committee hearings on Bill 148 have ended. More hearings are expected to take place in the fall. Committee members are reviewing presentations and written submissions. They will consider amendments to the Bill during the week of August 21.

The bill proposes radical changes to the rules that govern how you manage your business and your relationship with your employees.

And that’s not all.

With no warning, consultation or economic impact analysis, the government is also moving forward with a $15 minimum wage, increasing the already immense cost pressures on Ontario businesses.

Here are the top five things the government has planned that could impact your business:

  • Hiking the minimum wage to $15 on January 1, 2019. This increase would be staggered over 18 months, starting with a jump to $14 on January 1, 2018.
  • Making all businesses offer up to 10 days of personal emergency leave, of which a minimum of two would have to be paid.
  • Making it easier for unions to organize in the private sector workplace by establishing card-based certification (i.e., no secret ballot vote) in three sectors (temporary help agencies, building services, and home care/community services) and forcing business owners to hand over private contact information of employees to union leaders.
  • Extending minimum vacation entitlement from two to three weeks for employees who have been with the same business for at least five years.
  • Significantly increasing punitive fines for businesses and hiring 175 new employment standards officers to police the workplace.

We know a 32 per cent increase in the minimum wage would hurt small businesses like yours, especially when you will be shouldering other financial burdens in the coming years, including Employment Insurance premium increases, Canada Pension Plan expansion, cap and trade costs, and skyrocketing hydro rates.

We are especially concerned that the government has done nothing to figure out the financial consequences of these proposed changes.

With amendments, this Bill could get even worse for Ontario's businesses.

CFIB is committed to making the government hear your concerns. There is still time to bring government to its senses, but we need your help to keep up the pressure! 


Tell the Premier, Minister of Labour and your MPP how these changes would affect your business by calling their offices, or putting your thoughts in an email. Please also cc CFIB at [email protected].

Then: Tell any business owners who aren’t members that we need their voice to help us stop this government from devastating Ontario’s economy. Let them know they should join today!

Have questions or want to share how these changes could impact your business? Contact Business Resources at 1-888-234-2232.

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