Representatives from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) are available to comment on the final report and recommendations of the Changing Workplaces Review, which were publicly released this morning.
"As we await the government’s response to the report, it is helpful to see that the Review is recommending to keep the secret ballot vote when forming a union at the workplace," said Plamen Petkov, CFIB’s Ontario vice president. "We are concerned, however, that several of the recommendations could significantly increase the cost of doing business in Ontario and impact the ability of small firms to create jobs and grow." These include:
- Removing the 50-employee threshold for Personal Emergency Leave;
- Eliminating labour exemptions for farm workers, as well as for other professions;
- Disclosing personal employee information to unions;
- Moving the Ministry of Labour to a "law enforcement agency" and away from customer-service;
- Forcing franchise employees at different locations of the same franchise to bargain as a single unit; and
- Eliminating minimum wage tiers for alcohol servers and students.
These and other recommendations in the report could disproportionately impact Ontario’s small businesses, who lack the financial resources to take on further regulation and costs – an important fact for the government to consider in their formal response.
"We urge the government to conduct a thorough and transparent economic impact analysis of each and every recommendation they choose to pursue. We also strongly caution them not to commit to any additional measures outside the scope of the review, such as increasing the minimum wage beyond the rate of inflation," concluded Petkov.
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