Canada: Proposed Legislation Would Repeal Certain Amendments Made By Bill 148

Last Updated: November 1 2018
Article by George J.A. Vassos, Harrison Brown and Rhonda B. Levy

On October 23, 2018, the Ontario government announced its intent to repeal amendments made by Bill 148, The Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act, 2017. Bill 148, which received Royal Assent on November 27, 2017, made significant changes to Ontario labour and employment law by amending the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (LRA), and the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Most Bill 148 amendments were in force by April 1, 2018, with the remaining amendments to the ESA to become effective on January 1, 2019. According to the government, the proposed legislation—Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act—would repeal the amendments "that are causing employers the most concern and unnecessary burden."

Summarized below is an overview of some of the key changes proposed by Bill 47. This overview provides highlights only and is not exhaustive.

ESA Amendments

If it is enacted in its current form, Bill 47 would:

Enforce a Temporary Minimum Wage Freeze. The minimum wage increase from $14.00 to $15.00 per hour scheduled for January 1, 2019, would be cancelled. The minimum wage would remain at $14.00 per hour in 2019 and be subject to an increase tied to the consumer price index on October 1st of every year commencing in 2020.

Repeal Scheduling Provisions With One Exception. With the exception of the Modified Three-Hour Rule, certain scheduling provisions introduced by Bill 148, which were to take effect on January 1, 2019, would be repealed. They include:

  • Right to request changes to schedule or work location after at least three months of employment;
  • Minimum of three hours' pay for on-call work for employees who are on-call but not called into work, or who are on-call for less than three hours;
  • Right to refuse requests or demands to work or to be on-call on a day the employee is not scheduled to work or to be on call with less than 96 hours' notice; and
  • Three hours' pay upon the cancellation of a scheduled shift or an on-call shift within 48 hours of the shift's commencement.

Record-keeping requirements relating to the scheduling provisions listed above would also be repealed.

As noted above, the Modified Three-Hour Rule introduced by Bill 148, and scheduled to come into force on January 1, 2019, would not be impacted by Bill 47. This rule applies to employees who regularly work more than three hours per day. It addresses situations where employees are called in to work but actually work less than three hours, despite being available to work longer. In these circumstances, the employee will be entitled to be paid for three hours' work. This rule will not apply when the employer could not provide work due to circumstances beyond its control, such as fire, lightning, power failure, storms or other causes of that nature.

Repeal Personal Emergency Leave and Replace it with Three Unpaid Leaves. Bill 47 repeals the current Personal Emergency Leave ("PEL") entitlement, including the basic entitlement initially introduced in 2001 (10 unpaid days per year to deal with personal matters) and the changes introduced by Bill 148 (the first two PEL days would be paid and medical notes to substantiate such an absence could not be required by the employer). Bill 47 would replace PEL with the following three unpaid leaves, which would be available to employees who have been employed for two consecutive weeks:

  • Sick Leave (three days per calendar year for personal illness, injury or medical emergencies);
  • Family Responsibility Leave (three days per calendar year); and
  • Bereavement Leave (two days per calendar year).

With respect to all of these unpaid leaves, employers would be entitled to require the employee to provide evidence reasonable in the circumstances. This repeals the prohibition against an employer requesting a doctor's note from an employee seeking sick leave. Furthermore, if an employee is entitled to the leave under an employment contract on a paid or unpaid basis, when the leave is taken under the contract, the employee would be deemed to have taken it under the ESA.

Repeal the Reverse Onus on Employers to Prove that Employees are Properly Classified. Bill 47 repeals the reverse onus on employers to prove that individuals not classified as employees are, in fact, not employees. The proposal, however, leaves intact the Bill 148 amendment to the ESA that expressly prohibits the misclassification of employees.

Repeal Equal Pay for Equal Work Provisions Prohibiting Lower Rates of Pay Based on Employment Status and Assignment Employee Status. "Employment Status" refers to differences in the number of hours regularly worked (i.e., part-time versus full-time) and whether the employee is assigned permanent versus casual status. "Assignment Employee Status" refers to assignment employees placed by a temporary help agency to the workplace of a client.

Repeal the Public Holiday Pay Formula Set Out in Bill 148 and Permanently Maintain the Pre-Bill 148 Formula that was Temporarily Reinstated on July 1, 2018.

Bill 47 does not impact all provisions of Bill 148 relating to the ESA, including the following:

  • Those eligible for domestic or sexual violence leave remain entitled to that leave, including five days of paid leave; and
  • Employees will be entitled to three weeks of vacation time and vacation pay of 6% of all "wages" after five years or more of employment (no change to the two weeks/4% where employment is less than five years).

LRA Amendments

If it is enacted in its current form, Bill 47 would:

  • Repeal card-based certification for workers in the home care and community services industry, the building services industry, and the temporary help industry and return to a vote-based system.
  • Repeal the ability of unions to apply to the Ontario Labour Relations Board ("OLRB") for a list of employees when they can demonstrate 20% employee support for union certification.
  • Repeal the remedial certification rules under Bill 148 and revert to the remedial certification options that existed before Bill 148.
  • Repeal government-enacted union successor rights in government-funded industries.
  • Repeal the OLRB's power to review and consolidate newly certified bargaining units with existing bargaining units and provide the OLRB with a more general power when certain conditions are met.
  • Repeal the just cause protection covering the period beginning on the date when a strike or lockout becomes lawful and ending on the date a new collective agreement is entered into, which was introduced by Bill 148.
  • Empower the OLRB to review the structure of bargaining units where the existing bargaining units are no longer appropriate for collective bargaining.
  • Repeal new provisions for first collective agreements in Bill 148 relating to educational supports, mediation and mediation-arbitration, and return to the first collective agreement process in the LRA prior to Bill 148, which allows for the involvement of the OLRB in first collective agreement arbitration in specific circumstances.

As many changes made to the LRA by Bill 148 came into force on January 1, 2018, Bill 47 contains transition provisions to deal with matters that have been commenced.

It is assumed that efforts will be made to pass Bill 47 by the end of 2018, as the remaining Bill 148 amendments are scheduled to come into force on January 1, 2019. The timing of the Bill's passage is not yet certain, however. In addition, it is not known if Bill 47 will be passed in its current form.

We will follow Bill 47 as it moves through the stages prescribed by the Legislature and continue to advise you of its progress.

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.

George J.A. Vassos
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
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