Bill 148: Ontario prepares to amend its labour and employment laws
How would Bill 148 amend Ontario’s labour and employment laws?
On June 1st, the Ontario Government introduced Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. If enacted, Bill 148 would extensively amend the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and the Labour Relations Act, 1995.
Bill 148 is the result of a two-year review of labour and employment laws in Ontario. In February 2015, the Minister of Labour appointed Michael Mitchell, formerly of this firm, and the Honourable John C. Murray as special advisors to lead the Changing Workplaces Review. As the special advisors observed, this was the first independent review in Canada to consider specific legislative changes to both employment standards and labour relations in a single process.
The special advisors examined academic and inter-jurisdictional research, held consultations across the province, and accepted written submissions from stakeholders and members of the public. An interim report was issued in July 2016, and the final report was released on May 23, 2017. Bill 148 was introduced the next week.
Dan Sheppard has summarized here many of the ways Bill 148 would amend the ESA and the LRA. He also compares the provisions of Bill 148 with the recommendations made by the Changing Workplaces Review.