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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Minimum Wage and Labour Law Reform: What’s Your Story?

The GNCC is making the case for your business with the Government of Ontario. Now we need your help.

Our Request

To help our advocacy work on behalf of business, the GNCC wants to hear your story about how the upcoming wage and labour law changes from the Ontario Government would affect you.

We are working hard on this legislation. Compelling stories from those who will be affected will help us better represent your interests.

What do these reforms mean for your organization? Will you be forced to downsize, lay off staff, or reduce hours offered? Will you have to close one or more locations? Reduce or eliminate employee extended health benefits or other perks such as tuition reimbursement or pensions? Tell us what these changes will compel you to do to stay in business – and if you don’t believe that you will be able to stay in business at all, we definitely want to hear from you.

With a majority government at Queen’s Park, it is likely that this legislation will be passed. In that event, what compensatory measures would you ask for from the government to help your business absorb these new costs?

Alternatively, if you think the $15/hr minimum wage may have some benefits for Ontario’s economy, tell us why. Do you foresee increased consumer spending? A reduction in the $1.38 billion that poverty costs Niagara each year? A lessened burden on our overtaxed affordable housing programs?

We appreciate all the detail you can provide. Numbers and figures help us make our case.

Contact Details and Privacy Policy

Please contact our Policy & Government Relations Manager, Hugo Chesshire, at or at 905-684-2361. No names or other information that could identify you or your business will be made public or conveyed to anyone other than GNCC staff. Businesses will be identified by their broad industrial classification alone (e.g. manufacturing, retail, or services). Your contact information will not be passed on to anyone other than GNCC staff.

Details of Bill 148:
Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017

  • A minimum wage increase to $14/hr on January 1, 2018
  • A further minimum wage increase to $15/hr to take effect on January 1, 2019
  • Student minimum wage to increase to $13.15/hr in 2018 and $14.10 in 2019
  • Liquor server minimum wage to increase to $12.20/hr in 2018 and $13.05 in 2019
  • Homeworker (employees doing paid work in their own home) minimum wage to increase to $15.40/hr in 2018 and $16.50/hr in 2019
  • Minimum vacation entitlement to increase to three weeks per year (after five years with the same employer)
  • Mixed Hourly Rate for overtime eliminated; overtime to be paid at the rate of work performed after threshold is reached
  • All employees to receive 10 personal emergency leave days per year, with a minimum of two to be paid; exemption for organizations with fewer than 50 employees to be eliminated; no requirement for medical documentation when requesting leave
  • Scheduling changes must be provided to employees with a minimum of 96 hours’ notice or be subject to refusal
  • Shifts of less than three hours must be topped up to the regular rate, not minimum wage, including unworked on-call hours and shifts cancelled less than 48 hours before the scheduled start time
  • Public holiday pay to be calculated based on the pay period before the holiday rather than the previous four weeks divided by 20
  • Part-time, temporary, casual and seasonal employees must be paid the same as full-time employees doing the same job
  • Temporary workers must be paid the same as permanent employees doing the same job
  • Family medical leave to increase from 8 weeks out of 26 to 27 out of 52
  • Employees do not have to contact their employer before filing a claim under the Employment Standards Act
  • Maximum penalties under the Employment Standards Act will be increased up to 50 per cent
  • Maximum penalties under the Labour Relations Act will be increased up to 300 per cent
  • Card-based union certification will be introduced for the temporary help industry, building services sector, and home care/community services industry
  • New provisions will make it easier for a union to be certified
  • Unions will be given access to employee lists and contact information, provided they can demonstrate they have reached 20 per cent support
  • Striking employees must be allowed to return to work at any time, subject to certain conditions, and employees must be reinstated at the conclusion of a strike or lock-out
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