Ontario is taking historic action to create more opportunity and security for workers with a plan for Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs. This includes hiking the minimum wage, ensuring part-time workers are paid the same hourly wage as full-time workers, introducing paid sick days for every worker and stepping up enforcement of employment laws. Over the past three years, Ontario’s economy has outperformed all G7 countries in terms of real GDP growth. While exports and business investments are increasing and the unemployment rate is at a 16-year low, the nature of work has changed. Many workers are struggling to support their families on part-time, contract or minimum-wage work. Government has a responsibility to address precarious employment and ensure Ontario workers are protected by updating the province’s labour and employment laws. To help safeguard employees and create fairer and better workplaces, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that the government is moving forward with a landmark package of measures, including:
The government will also propose measures to expand family leaves and make certain that employees are not misclassified as independent contractors, ensuring they get the benefits they deserve. To enforce these changes, the province will hire up to 175 more employment standards officers and launch a program to educate both employees and small and medium-sized businesses about their rights and obligations under the Employment Standards Act.
“The economy has changed. Work has changed. It’s time our laws and protections for workers changed too. Too many families are struggling to get by on part-time or contract work and unstable employment. And no one working full time in Ontario should live in poverty. With these changes, every worker in Ontario will be treated fairly, paid a living wage and have the opportunities they deserve.”
–– Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario
“These changes will ensure every hard-working Ontarian has the chance to reach their full potential and share in Ontario’s prosperity. Fairness and decency must be the defining values of our workplaces.”
— Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour
“A phased approach to increasing the minimum wage will provide opportunity for some of our most vulnerable workers while allowing employers time to adjust. The change in minimum wage is a part of a package of reforms that recognizes the change in the nature of employment in today’s economy.”
— Bill Mauro, MPP for Thunder Bay - Atikokan
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