After a tough year for business owners, there is finally good news: Most of the harsh measures imposed by Bill 148 will be reversed under Bill 47, the Making Ontario Open for Business Act!
Members have been telling us for more than a year that Bill 148’s changes have created excessive red tape and additional, unmanageable costs beyond just the minimum wage increase. We’ve been telling the new government the same thing, and they’ve heard us, loud and clear.
Bill 47 represents a huge victory for CFIB and Ontario’s small businesses. We will keep you informed on the status of this bill as it moves through the legislative process, including committee hearings and passage. It’s business as usual under Bill 148 until you hear otherwise.
Here are just a few of the many Bill 148 reversals and changes in the new legislation.
- The minimum wage will be frozen at the current level ($14/hour) until October 2020, when it once again will be tied to inflation.
- The two paid Personal Emergency Leave (PEL) days will be gone. Workers will be entitled to eight unpaid “leave” days per calendar year – three for personal illness, two for bereavement, and three for family responsibilities. Doctors’ notes will be allowed once again!
- The costly, red tape-ridden scheduling and on-call provisions will be axed.
- The onerous equal pay for equal work provisions requiring that non full-time workers be paid the same as full-time workers for performing the same job will be repealed.
- The pre-Bill 148 statutory holiday pay formula will be made permanent.
- The mandatory secret ballot vote will be restored for the home care/community services, building services and temporary help agency industries.
- Unions won’t be able to get your employees’ personal contact information if only 20% of them sign union cards.
- Fines will be lowered and no more labour police will be hired.
The new Ontario government would not have acted to make these big changes without our work and the efforts of members like you. Our advocacy work was elevated by your Action Alerts, letters, and stories about how Bill 148 has been punishing your business and restricting your growth and competitiveness.
Positive changes coming to skilled trades, too!
There is also good news for businesses requiring skilled workers. The journeyperson-to-apprentice ratios will be reduced to 1:1 for all compulsory trades – something CFIB has been urging government to do for over 15 years! This will allow many of our members to take on apprentices, allowing more opportunities for young workers.
The province will reduce red tape and return oversight of trades to government by winding down the College of Trades. A replacement model will be developed by early 2019 to regulate the skilled trades and modernize the apprenticeship system.
Please call our business counsellors if you have specific questions about any of these changes, or to find out more. There are too many positive changes to include here!