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Posted by on Dec 2018 in News Updates, Slider, Uncategorized | 0 comments

How Employment Standards are changing under the ‘Making Ontario Open for Business Act’

City of Toronto street

The Ontario government passed the Making Ontario Open for Business Act on November 21, 2018. This new legislation effectively repeals many of the employment standard changes made by the previous government in 2017.

Read on for an overview of some of the most relevant changes for non-profit housing employers.


Minimum wage

2017 Legislation:

Minimum wage would increase to $15 as of January 2019.

New Legislation:

Minimum wage is frozen at $14 until October 2020, at which point it will be adjusted annually with inflation.



2017 Legislation:

Introduced several scheduling-related changes that would come into effect in January 2019. Most notably for non-profit housing providers, these changes would have required employers to compensate employees who were on-call but not called in, and employees whose shifts were cancelled with less than two days’ notice.

The legislation also gave employees the right to refuse work if they were given less than four days’ notice of scheduling.

New Legislation:

Repeals the 2017 scheduling requirements entirely.

Employers will no longer need to compensate employees who are on-call or whose shifts are cancelled with less than two days’ notice.

The new legislation also cancels provisions that allowed employees to refuse to work if notified of scheduling with less than four days’ notice.


Equal pay for equal work

2017 Legislation:

All employees performing equal work must receive the same rate of pay regardless of employment status (i.e. whether they were full time, part-time, casual or temporary).

New Legislation:

Removes the 2017 provisions. This means that employers will no longer have to pay all employees at the same rate.


Personal Leave and Illness

2017 Legislation:

Previous legislation meant that employees were entitled to 10 days of Personal Emergency Leave. This could be used for a variety of reasons, including illness or family emergencies. The 2017 amendments expanded on these by providing that two of these 10 days would be with pay.

New Legislation:

The Personal Emergency Leave program has been cut.

Employees are entitled to eight days leave per year instead of 10. All eight days are unpaid and can only be used for specific purposes (three sick days, two bereavement and three family responsibility days).

The new legislation also allows employers to ask employees for medical notes (something that the 2017 legislation would have prohibited).

Helpful Reads

If you’re interested in more information and analysis on these changes and the impact they will have on Ontario’s workforce, we recommend these pieces by the Wellesley Institute, the Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN), and Iler Campbell LLP.

Questions? Get In Touch

ONPHA is continuing to monitor and provide updates about relevant changes to employment standards. If you have questions about the new legislation and how it may impact your organization, please do not hesitate to contact ONPHA’s Member Support Department at


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