One Resolution all Employers should add to their list in 2018 is understanding the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act. Please join us for a webinar on February 6, 2018 for a full review of the legislative changes you need to be aware of. In the meantime, here are the highlights.
- Increase in Minimum Wage:
- Effective January 1, 2018, the general minimum wage will be increased to $14 per hour
- The minimum wage will increase to $15 per hour on January 1, 2019.
- Equal Pay for Equal Work: Effective April 1, 2018, employers will be required to pay casual, part-time, temporary, and seasonal employees the same wage rate as full-time employees if they are doing substantially the same work as full-time employees.
- Increase in Vacation Time and Pay: Effective January 1, 2018, employees with five (5) or more years of service will be entitled to a minimum of three weeks vacation or 6% vacation pay.
- The “Three -Hour” Scheduling Requirement: Effective January 1, 2019, the following changes will be made with respect to scheduling employees:
- Schedule and Location Requests – After three months of employment, employees will be able to request schedule or location changes;
- Shift Refusal – Employees will be allowed to refuse shift requests that are made with less than 96-hour notice; and
- Entitlement to Wages for Three Hours – An employee is entitled to three hours pay despite being scheduled for less hours. In addition, if an employee is required to be on call and is not required to work or is required to work less than three hours, the employer is obligated to provide wages for three hours. Finally, if an employee’s shift or on call period is cancelled with less than 48-hours of notice, an employer is required to provide wages for three hours. However, these requirements do not apply to employees providing essential public services.
- New and Increases in Leave of Absences:
- New Critical Illness Leave – Effective December 3, 2017, an employee is entitled to take up to 17 weeks of leave to provide care or support to a critically ill adult family member and up to 37 weeks of leave to provide care or support to a critically ill child;
- Amended Parental Leave – Effective December 3, 2017, an employee that has taken a pregnancy leave is entitled to 61 weeks of parental leave or 63 weeks if the employee has not taken a pregnancy leave;
- Amended Pregnancy Leave – Effective January 1, 2018, an employee that experiences a still birth or miscarriage will be entitled to 12 weeks of leave;
- Amended Family Medical Leave – Effective, January 1, 2018, an employee will be entitled to 28 weeks of leave to provide care or support to a family member that has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death occurring within 26 weeks or less;
- New Child Death Leave – Effective January 1, 2018, an employee will be entitled to 104 weeks of leave, following the death of their child;
- Amended Crime-Related Disappearance Leave – Effective January 1, 2018, an employee will be entitled to 104 weeks of leave if their child disappears and it is probable that the child disappeared as a result of a crime;
- New Domestic or Sexual Violence Leave – Effective January 1, 2018, an employee will be entitled to a leave of absence where the employee or the employee’s child experiences domestic or sexual violence or threat of sexual or domestic violence. The employee is allowed to take a leave of absence for the purpose of: (i) seeking medical attention; (ii) to obtain services from victim services organizations; (iii) to obtain psychological or professional counselling; (iv) to relocate; (v) to seek legal or law enforcement assistance; and (vi) such other purposes as prescribed. In each calendar year, the employee may take up to 10 individual days of leave (5 days with pay), and up to 15 weeks of leave; and
- Amended Personal Emergency Leave – Effective January 1, 2018, an employer of any size will be required to provide 10 personal emergency leave days; two of them with pay.
- Correct Employee Classifications: Effective immediately, employers are prohibited from misclassifying employees as “independent contractors.” An employer will be required to establish the individual is in fact an independent contractor and not an employee.
- Increased Record Keeping Requirements: In addition to the existing record keeping requirements, employers will also need to record the following:
- The dates and times worked by an employee, effective January 1, 2018;
- Where an employee has two or more pay rates, and has worked overtime in a given week, a record of the dates and times worked for each pay rate, effective January 1, 2018;
- The amount of vacation pay that the employee earned during the year and how it was calculated, effective January 1, 2018;
- The dates and times that the employee was scheduled to work or be on-call and any changes made to the on-call schedule, effective January 1, 2019; and
- Cancellations of a scheduled work day or scheduled on-call, effective January 1, 2019.
- Enforcement: Effective January 1, 2018, the Director of Employment Standards may accept security for payment, issue warrants, place liens on real and personal property, and collect and share personal information for the purpose of collecting amounts owing.
Employers will need to update their policies and administrative systems to keep track of their new statutory obligations.
Persaud Employment Law will be hosting a webinar on February 6, 2018 to help you understand your new obligations. Please click here to register.