We know that the Ontario government’s sweeping labour reforms have been a serious challenge for your business.
While we still have a lot of work to do, we are thrilled to report that the Government of Ontario reversed a major change and decided to go back to the original statutory holiday pay formula!
How did it happen?
In a word: teamwork.
Since the first working day of the year, our Business Resources team has been receiving dozens of calls every day from businesses like yours on Bill 148 – the government’s sweeping labour reforms. Calls have ranged from issues with personal emergency leave days to how the new vacation entitlement works; however, the new statutory holiday pay formula has by far generated the most calls.
As Business Resources continued to pepper Ministry of Labour frontline staff with our members’ concerns, the legislative team sought action at Queen’s Park. In late January, the legislative team met with Minister’s Office staff to discuss the unfair formula, among other Bill 148-related issues.
On April 17, 2018, the legislative team wrote a letter to Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn asking him to “reverse the Bill 148 change to the statutory holiday pay calculation”. The letter was also sent to all MPPs and the Premier’s Office. In this letter, we outlined the significant cost impact of the new formula for employers with part-time workers.
On May 7, 2018, the Government of Ontario officially announced that they would revert back to the old statutory holiday pay formula, effective July 1, 2018.
- Before July 1, 2018: In order to calculate your employees' public holiday pay, take all regular wages earned by the employee in the pay period before the public holiday and divide it by the number of days the employee worked in that period.
- After July 1, 2018: In order to calculate your employees' public holiday pay, take the gross wages earned over the last four weeks before the holiday and divide it by 20.
This victory shows CFIB working at its grassroots best: members raise their concerns with our field representatives and BR team, who pass them on to our legislative team, who press the government to act, and government makes a change.
The change is in place until at least December 31, 2019. The government promised to consult with small business owners on the formula before moving forward with any change. We will actively participate in these consultations on behalf of all of our members.
Once the election is over, we will call on the next government to maintain the post-July 1, 2018 formula permanently.