Over the past number of months the business community has pushed back on the government’s proposed legislation around minimum wage, scheduling, vacation and sick pay, and rules around forming unions, calling the sweeping changes “too much, too soon.” In isolation, these changes could be manageable, but for many small businesses, even those paying above the minimum wage currently, the combination of new requirements could be too much to overcome.
As we get closer to the end of the year, businesses are still left not knowing if these changes will go through on January 1st as designed or if the call to slow down the process will be heeded.
In mid-August the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Keep Ontario Working coalition released an
economic analysis on the proposed changes.
“The results of the economic analysis reinforce the concerns of fewer hours, fewer jobs that were presented at a roundtable we held with local businesses and Jeff Leal, the Minister Responsible for Small Business in mid-June,” says Stuart Harrison, President & CEO, Peterborough Chamber of Commerce. ”Bill 148 is too much, too soon and the uncertainty it presents to business has the potential to have significant impact.”
In their comments to the Peterborough Chamber, several businesses have said their expansion plans are on hold as they come to terms with how the multitude of changes in Bill 148 will affect their business in a very quick time frame. While other businesses have indicated the changes will force them to reconsider how they run their operations, the number of students they will be able to hire, or work within budgets.
So to recap what are some of the changes that will have the most impact?
- Minimum wage will go up $2.40
- Employers of all sizes will be required to offer ten sick days including two paid sick days
- Vacation time will increase to 3 weeks for employees with five years of service
- Scheduling changes will require 48 hours notice (an amendment has been proposed to include weather and weather dependent jobs as exceptions)
- Record-keeping requirements for Employers will increase in addition to current requirements
- Equal Pay for Equal Work (an amendment has been proposed that includes different pay based on hours worked)
Commentary on Bill 148 continues to be very important and we ask our member businesses if you haven’t already, tell us and your elected leaders how these changes will impact your business.
Email the Chamber:
Write your MPP and cc the Premier:
Honourable Jeff Leal, Minister
Responsible for Small Business
Honourable Kathleen Wynne,
Premier of Ontario