Bill 148 Changes (Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs Act)

Posted on Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

On November 27, 2017, Bill 148 (the Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs Act) received royal assent, the result of which is significant changes to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and Labour Relations Act, with minor changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act. This Bill came following several rounds of public consultation during the spring and summer of 2017 which saw multiple changes to proposed legislation before its final passing. Key changes resulting from this legislation include, but are not limited to: 

  • Increases to the minimum wage 
  • Changes to the formula used for the calculation of public holiday pay and record keeping requirements for those employees scheduled to work on those days
  • Increased vacation entitlements for those employees with five (5) years of service
  • Increased number of various statutory protected leaves 
  • Extensions to the length of unpaid parental leave
  • Changes to work scheduling requirements
  • Changes to the Personal Emergency Leave provisions of the ESA
  • Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value (Employment Status)
  • Increased record keeping requirements

There are varying implementation dates for changes required under Bill 148. To date, the University has been focused on ensuring that our policies and practices are consistent with the requirements that are presently in effect, in addition to ensuring Chairs/Directors of academic units, managers and departmental human resources contacts are aware of the changes. 
There have been some significant changes to Human Resources polices 500 (Personal Emergency Leave), 501 (Leave of Absence) and 502 (Paid Holidays), which are now currently in effect and can be found on the Human Resources website. You are strongly encouraged the review these changes. The University has multiple employee group/collective agreements in place with its various trade unions and employee groups which in many cases already provide for an equal or greater benefit then is provided for under the legislation. The University will be addressing changes required as a result of Bill 148 with those groups in future rounds of negotiations. In the interim, where collective agreements contain leave provisions inconsistent with the changed legislation, the revised Human Resources policies 500, 501 and 502 will prevail.  
The University continues to assess the impacts of those changes which are forthcoming as a result of the legislation and remains committed to updating the University as a further policy changes are made and working with departments to minimize its impacts where possible. 
Staff with questions regarding the impact of Bill 148 Policies should contact their supervisor or Human Resources Consultant directly. 
Faculty and other academic staff with questions regarding the impact of Bill 148 should contact their Chair/Director or departmental administrator. Faculty and Academic Staff Relations is available to assist Colleges and Departments with any questions regarding academic staff and Bill 148.

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