Bill 47, the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018, received Royal Assent on November 21, 2018. This means Bill 47 is now law, and will amend the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) and the Labour Relations Act (the “LRA”).
The changes to the LRA came into force upon Royal Assent on November 21, 2018, whereas changes to the ESA will come into force on January 1, 2019.
Bill 47 will repeal many of the changes introduced by the previous Liberal government’s Bill 148. Some of the changes to be repealed include controversial measure such as an additional minimum wage hike to $15 per hour, and provisions providing for ten Personal Emergency Leave days for all employees in the province, the first two of which are paid. However, it is important to note that employers must continue to comply with the Bill 148 ESA changes until the end of the year.
For a detailed explanation of the Bill 47 changes, refer to our October update, the Bill 148 Rollback Alert. As predicted, Bill 47 was passed quickly, and did not undergo significant revisions between its First and Third Reading.
The only exception is that Section 15.1 of the LRA, which gave the Ontario Labour Relations Board (the “Board”) the power to review the structure of bargaining units in a variety of circumstances has been repealed in its entirety. In the first draft of Bill 47, this provision was to be replaced by more limited provisions permitting such review only where the Board was satisfied that the existing bargaining units were no longer appropriate for collective bargaining. As such, the final version of Bill 47 has the effect of returning the law on this issue to its pre-Bill 148 status.