What employers need to know when it comes to new wage legislation

Express Employment Professionals provides recommendations for business

With Ontario’s Bill 148 (the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act) now law as of Nov. 22, 2017, employers need to be aware of key provisions that are likely to impact your business.

Some provisions come into effect on January 1, 2018, with various recommendations for businesses so affected:

AN INCREASE IN MINIMUM WAGE

—Minimum wage increases to $14 an hour on January 1, 2018.

Recommendations:

—Determine how many employees are paid less than $14 per hour and update wage structures to ensure compliance.
—Assess the differential between the lowest paid jobs and other jobs and adjust accordingly.

VACATION ENTITLEMENT INCREASE

—Employees who have been with the same employer for five years are entitled to three weeks of vacation per year (an increase from two).

Recommendations:

—Prepare to change policies and practices effective January 1, 2018.
—Review your record-keeping practices in relation to vacation to ensure the new requirements are met.

NEW PUBLIC HOLIDAY PAY CALCULATIONS

—Regular wages in the pay period before the holiday will be divided by the days worked (rather than a four-week period of wages divided by 20).
—Employees who work on a public holiday can elect to receive a substitute day off and must be provided with a written notice of the substitute holiday date.

Recommendations:

—Review how public holiday pay is calculated for your employees.
—Ensure that your payments are equal to or exceed the payments required under the new formula.
—Develop a tracking process to use when providing a substitute day to employees who work on a public holiday.

EXPANSION OF PERSONAL EMERGENCY LEAVE (PEL)

—Rather than limiting this leave to organizations with more than 50 employees, all workers can take 10 personal emergency leave days per year.
—At a minimum, the first two days will be paid.
—Employers retain the right to require evidence of entitlement to these days, but are not permitted to require a certificate from a qualified health practitioner.

Recommendations:

—Review your existing PEL policy and ensure the first two days taken will be paid.
—Implement a system to track PEL usage.

Provided courtesy of Express Employment Professionals. Source: Ontario Government, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Association of Canadian Search, Employment & Staffing Services.

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