Ontario’s Bill 47, the Making Ontario Open for Business Act

Provision Name Repealed Bill 148 Provision New Bill 47 Provision Effective Date
Personal Emergency Leave (PEL) All employers must provide 10 days of PEL per calendar year, the first 2 paid and the following 8 unpaid. All employees are entitled to the following leaves per calendar year:

  • 3 unpaid days of sick leave
  • 3 unpaid days of family responsibility leave
  • 2 unpaid days of bereavement leave
January 1, 2019
Medical Note Employers cannot require an employee to provide a medical note as a condition of receiving PEL. No longer a restriction on employer’s ability to request a medical note from a qualified healthcare practitioner as a condition to receiving sick leave. January 1, 2019
Minimum Wage General minimum wage increase to $15.00 per hour effective January 1, 2019. The current general minimum wage of $14.00 will be frozen until 2020, when increases will become tied to inflation on October 1 of every year. October 1, 2020

Amended Provisions 

Provision Name Current Bill 148 Provision New Bill 47 Provision Effective Date
Independent Contractor Classification The onus of proof that an employee is not an independent contractor is on the employer. The burden is no longer on an employer to prove that a worker is an independent contractor rather than an employee. January 1, 2019
Equal Pay for Equal Work (Sex) Employers are still prohibited on basing pay differences on sex, but employees have a right to request a review of their rate of pay from their employer. This prohibition remains in effect, but the right of an employee to request a review with a written response from their employer has been repealed. January 1, 2019
Holiday Pay Calculation Holiday pay is to be calculated based on the regular wages earned by an employee in the pay period immediately preceding the public holiday, divided by the number of days the employee worked in that pay period. The holiday pay calculation has been reverted to the pre-Bill 148 formula, which is the total amount of regular wages earned and vacation pay payable to the employee in the 4 weeks before the week of the public holiday, divided by 20. January 1, 2019

Note: Implemented on an interim basis as of July 1, 2018.

Repealed Provisions 

Provision Name Repealed Bill 148 Provision New Bill 47 Provision Effective Date
Equal Pay for Equal Work – Employment Status Employers cannot base differences in pay on employment status and employees have the right to request a review of their rate from their employer. Repealed, therefore no remaining obligation. January 1, 2019
Schedule or Work Location Changes Employees with a minimum of 3 months of continuous service can submit a request to change their schedule or work location. Repealed, therefore no remaining obligation. Will not come into effect (was scheduled for January 1, 2019)
On-Call Employees, 3 Paid Hours If employees are on-call and not called into work, or are called in and work less than 3 hours despite being available to work longer, then they must be paid 3 hours at their regular rate. Repealed, therefore no remaining obligation. Will not come into effect (was scheduled for January 1, 2019)
Cancellation Pay If an employer cancels an employee’s scheduled or on-call shift within 48 hours of the scheduled start time, the employee must be paid for 3 hours at their regular rate. Repealed, therefore no remaining obligation. Will not come into effect (was scheduled for January 1, 2019)
96 Hour Rule If employers do not provide at least 96 hours’ notice, employees can refuse to work or be on-call on a day that they were not scheduled to work or be on-call. Repealed, therefore no remaining obligation. Will not come into effect (was scheduled for January 1, 2019)

Maintained Provisions 

Provision Name Maintained Provision Effective Date
Vacation Vacation must be at least 2 weeks after 1 year of services, and at least 3 weeks after 5 years of service. Vacation pay must be at least 4% of wages after 1 year of service, and 6% after 5 years of service. January 1, 2018
Extended Parental/ Pregnancy Leave Parental leave is up to 61 weeks for employees to take pregnancy leave, and 63 weeks for all others eligible for parental leave. Pregnancy leave is up to 12 weeks for employees who experience a still-birth or miscarriage. January 1, 2018
Critical Illness Leave Critical illness leave is up to 17 weeks to provide care and support to a critically ill adult family member, and up to 37 weeks for a critically ill child under 18 years of age. January 1, 2018
Domestic or Sexual Violence Leave Employees are entitled to five paid days of leave and five unpaid days, or up to 15 weeks if taken as full weeks, where the employee or their child experiences domestic or sexual violence or the threat of such. January 1, 2018
Family Medical Leave Family medical leave is up to 28 weeks per calendar year to provide care or support to a family member with a serious medical condition who has a significant risk of dying within a 26 week period. January 1, 2018
3 Hour Rule Employee who regularly work more than 3 hours per day must be paid 3 hours at their regular rate if they are scheduled to work, but work less than 3 hours despite being available for longer. January 1, 2019

What This Means for Employers

Employers are encouraged to carefully review their current policies and procedures to assess which documents need amendment in light of these new requirements.