Canada: Bill 148 Passes Last Hurdle With Further Significant Amendments Proclaimed Into Law

Last Updated: December 1 2017
Article by Susan Crawford

Bill 148 – the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, received Royal Assent on November 27, 2017. This controversial legislation has been the source of unprecedented debate and commentary. We set out below an executive summary of the final changes and implementation dates for those amendments that will be most impactful to employers. Click HERE For CCP's more comprehensive review of the legislation, impacts and recommendations to employers.

Employment Standards Act

i. Minimum Wage Increase:


January 1, 2018 – General minimum hourly wage increasing to $14.00.

January 1, 2019 – General minimum hourly wage increasing to $15.00.

ii. Vacation Entitlement

When: January 1, 2018 – All employees with 5 years of employment will be entitled to 3 weeks' vacation and 6% vacation pay.

iii. Personal Emergency Leave Changes

When: January 1, 2018 – Removal of the 50 employee threshold for entitlement, first two days must now be paid, employers prohibited from requiring a doctor's note to support leave.

iv. Equal Pay for Equal Work

When: April 1, 2018 – Part-time, casual and temporary employees will be entitled to the same rate of pay as full-time employees performing substantially similar (defined as "substantially the same but not identical") work. Pay differences only permitted when difference is based on a (i) seniority system, (ii) pay merit system, (iii) quantity or quality of productions, or, (iv) some other objective factor.

v. New Scheduling Obligations

When: January 1, 2019

  • After 3 months employment, employees can request changes to work schedule or location.
  • Right to refuse shifts where asked to work fewer than 4 days (96 hours) before shift.
  • Entitlement to at least 3 hours of regular pay where an employee: (i) is on-call and not called into work; (ii) attends for a 3+ hour shift and works fewer than 3 hours; or, (iii) has a scheduled day of work cancelled within 48 hours of intended start time.

vi. New Public Holiday Pay Calculation

When: January 1, 2018 – New calculation based on the wages paid to an employee in the pay period prior to public holiday divided by the days worked in the pay period.

vii. "Related Employer" Definition Expanded

When: January 1, 2018 – Amendments to definition such that two employers may be "related" for the purposes of the ESA where they carry on "related business or activities".

viii. Penalties for Misclassifying Employees as "Independent Contractors"

When: November 27, 2017 – Employers may be subject to fines or penalties if they are found to have misclassified an employee as an independent contractor and will bear the burden of proving the worker is not an employee.

ix. Increased Parental Leave

When: December 3, 2017 – 61 weeks where pregnancy leave taken, 63 weeks where no pregnancy leave.

x. Increased Pregnancy Leave for Stillbirth or Miscarriage

When: January 1, 2018 – Increase from 6 to 12 weeks.

xi. New Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Leave

When: January 1, 2018 – Up to 10 days and 15 weeks of job-protected leave each calendar year where the employee meets the qualifying provisions which relate to actual or threats of domestic violence or sexual assault against the employee or employee's child. The first 5 days of this leave will be paid.

xii. New Critical Illness Leave

When: December 3, 2017 – Replaces Critically Ill Child Care Leave. Up to 17 weeks job-protected leave to provide care and support to critically ill adult family member and up to 37 weeks leave to provide care and support for a child under 18 for employees employed for at least 6 months.

xiii. New Child Death Leave and Crime – Related Child Disappearance Leave

When: January 1, 2018 – New separate leaves that replace the current Crime-Related Child Death or Disappearance Leave. Up to 104 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave where an employee's child dies or for a crime-related child disappearance for all employees employed for at least 6 months.

xiv. Increased Family Medical Leave Entitlement

When: January 1, 2018 – Up to 28 weeks unpaid, job-protected leave in a 52 week period to provide care or support to a family member with serious medical condition creating significant risk of death within 26 weeks.

Labour Relations Act (LRA)

When: January 1, 2018 for all LRA Amendments. We note previous versions of Bill 148 proposed effective dates six months from date of Royal Assent.

i. Mandatory Remedial Certification – Removal of the Labour Board's discretion to certify under s.11 of the LRA where it is satisfied that because of an employer's actions the true wishes of employees won't be reflected in a representative vote or the union was not able to obtain membership cards from at least 40 percent of the proposed bargaining unit.

ii. Mediation / Arbitration for First Contract Negotiations – Where the Labour Board grants mediation / arbitration for first collective agreement negotiations the parties are prohibited from commencing or continuing a strike or lock-out and any concurrent displacement or decertification applications are dismissed.

iii. Consolidation of Bargaining Units – Upon certification, the employer or union can request a new bargaining unit be consolidated with an existing unit represented by the same union.

iv. Expanded Card-Based Certification – Now applies in the temporary help agency industry, home care and community services industry, and building services sector and allows unions to certify without a vote with demonstrated support of more than 55% of the proposed bargaining unit.

v. Union Access to Employee Lists – Where a union can demonstrate at least 20% membership support for the proposed bargaining unit, it can request access to a list of employees that includes each employee's name, telephone number and personal email address if the employer has this information and potentially other personal information where the Labour Board deems it appropriate with the exception of home address information.

vi. Expanded Successor Rights for Building Services Contracts – A change in building service providers is deemed a "sale of business" thereby binding successor building provider to existing collective agreements and outstanding obligations incurred but not satisfied by former service provider.

vi. Expanded "Just Cause Protection" – Employers will now be required to prove "just cause" for any discipline or dismissals of bargaining unit employees between the time of certification and the later of when the parties reach a collective agreement or the union no longer represents the employees in the bargaining unit. "Just cause" protection will also apply for any discipline or dismissal following the commencement of a lawful strike or lockout.

vii. Expanded Interim Relief – The Labour Board will have more far reaching authority to issue interim decisions and put conditions on any interim decision or order without having to provide reasons.

vii. Return to Work Protection Post-Strike – Regardless of how long an employee has been out of the workplace during a strike, they will have a right to be returned to work at the end of the strike or lockout.

Occupational Health and Safety Act

i. Mandatory Heels in the Workplace Prohibited – Elevated heels can no longer be required unless they are required for safety and accept in the entertainment and / or advertising industries.

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.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart
Stringer LLP
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart
Stringer LLP
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