On November 17, 2017, Bill 148 was ordered for Third Reading. While there are some new amendments, many of the core proposed changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 remain the same.
There are several new amendments related to leaves. Family Medical Leave is amended to increase the length of leave from 8 weeks to 28 weeks. The applicability of Family Medical Leave was also expanded to include more family members.
The Domestic or Sexual Violence Leave was amended to include that the first 5 days of the leave each calendar year are to be paid days of leave. There are also the addition of confidentiality requirements on behalf of the employer.
A major amendment is that Critically Ill Child Care Leave is renamed and revamped. The new proposed name of the leave is “Critical Illness Leave” and it is expanded to encompass not only children of the employee but minor and adult family members as well. The proposed leave is up to 37 weeks for a minor child who is a family member of the employee and up to 17 weeks for an adult who is a family member. The definition of “family member” is quite broad, including but not limited to, spouses, children, parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters-in-law, and anyone considered to be like a family member of the employee.
Another notable amendment is the addition of Schedule 3, which amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act. This section makes it illegal for an employer to require workers to wear footwear with elevated heels unless it is required for the worker to perform his or her work safely. The exception to this rule would be for workers in the performance or entertainment industry.
Other amendments include the addition of transition sections and changes to the calculation of payment for the three hour rule and minimum pay for being on call.
It is likely that the Bill 148 will be passed in its current form. Once this Bill comes into force, there will be many changes for employers and many new rights for employees.
Minken Employment Lawyers is your source for expert advice and advocacy on today’s employment law issues. Whether you are an employer or an employee, we can help. Contact us for Bill 148 advice or information.
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