Canada: Changes To Bill 148: More Obligations For Ontario Employers

Last Updated: September 26 2017
Article by Caitlin Russell

On June 1, 2017, the government introduced Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. As we have previously reported, if passed, Bill 148 will significantly alter the employment and labour landscape in Ontario. For an overview of the proposed changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and the Labour Relations Act (LRA) found in the original version of Bill 148, see our previous posts on changes to the ESA and changes to the LRA.

Over the summer, the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs (the Committee) held consultations on Bill 148. In these consultations, the Committee sought feedback from industry stakeholders and the public. On August 21, 2017, following the consultations, the Committee adopted certain amendments to Bill 148. The amendments were reported to the Ontario Legislature on September 11, 2017, where the Bill was ordered for a Second Reading.

Although the amendments include some helpful clarifications for employers (particularly with respect to the new scheduling rules) most of the changes requested by employer groups in the consultation process were not adopted by the Committee. Instead, the changes leave in place or expand upon employee entitlements provided under the original version of Bill 148 and add additional obligations on employers. The most controversial aspects of the new legislation – including the increase in minimum wage – have not been amended.

Some of the notable changes made by the Committee are set out below: 

1.    New Leave of Absence for Domestic or Sexual Violence: The amendments introduce a new unpaid leave of absence where an employee or the employee's child has experienced domestic or sexual violence. This new leave replaces the original proposal under Bill 148 which would have only expanded the grounds for claiming personal emergency leave to include domestic or sexual violence. 

2.     Extensions to Pregnancy and Parental Leave: Under the revised Bill 148, pregnancy leave will be extended from 6 weeks to 12 weeks for employees after a miscarriage or stillbirth. Additionally, the length of parental leave will be extended by 26 weeks – from 35 weeks to 61 weeks for employees who have taken a pregnancy leave, and from 37 weeks to 63 weeks for employees who have not.

3. Record Keeping Obligations: Under the revised Bill 148, employers will be faced with more onerous record keeping requirements. Employers will now be required to keep records of the dates and times an employee was scheduled to work or be on call, records of any cancellations of a scheduled day of work, and the dates and times an employee worked. Additional record keeping obligations are being added with respect to overtime pay, public holidays and vacation pay.

4. Scheduling Changes: The Committee adopted amendments to the original scheduling rules proposed under Bill 148 that will provide some relief for certain employers. In particular: 

a. Under Bill 148, employees will have a right to refuse work requests where the request is made within 96 hours of the start of the shift. The amendments clarify that this will not apply where the work is to deal with an emergency, to remedy or reduce a threat to public safety, or for other prescribed reasons. 

b. Under Bill 148, employees will be entitled to payment of a minimum of three hours of work if their shift is cancelled on less than 48 hours of notice. The amendments clarify that this will not apply where the nature of the employee's work is weather-dependent and the employer cannot provide work for weather-related reasons. 

c. Under Bill 148, employees will be entitled to payment of a minimum of three hours of work if they are asked to be "on-call." The amendments clarify that this will not apply where the employee was not available to work for at least three hours at the relevant time. 

5. Collective Bargaining Agreements: The original version of Bill 148 provided that where the terms of a collective agreement conflicted with the new scheduling provisions, the collective agreement prevailed. The amendments adopted by the Committee limit this provision to provide that the collective agreement will only prevail if the agreement is in place on January 1, 2019. Further, any provision in a collective agreement that conflicts with the new legislation will cease to apply upon the expiry of that agreement or January 1, 2020, whichever is earlier. 

6. Public Holiday Statements: The revised Bill 148 restores the right for employees to take a substitute day off with public holiday pay where employees work on a public holiday – a provision that was removed under the original version of Bill 148. However, under the amendments, where an employee agrees to work on a public holiday, employers will be required to provide the employee with a written statement setting out the public holiday the employee will work and the day that is designated to be the substitute holiday. 

7. Paid Emergency Leave – Bill 148 will require all employers to provide 10 days of personal emergency leave, two of which must be paid. The amendments slightly limit the entitlement to paid leave to apply only to employees who have been employed for at least one week.

After the Second Reading, it is expected that Bill 148 will be referred back to the Committee and may undergo further amendments. However, of note for employers is that the Committee rejected a proposal made by the Progressive Conservative members of the Committee which would have required the government to commit to an economic impact analysis of Bill 148 and its effects, as conducted by an independent financial analyst. Given the rejection of this proposal, we expect that the Ontario government plans to move relatively quickly to pass the bill into law.

We will continue to track the legislation and will provide you with updates as they become available.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Caitlin Russell
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Littler Mendelson
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Littler Mendelson
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions