The Ford government has announced that it’s introducing a new “Making Ontario Open for Business” legislation today that will repeal the bulk of the Liberal party’s Bill 148 workplace and employment reforms.
Bill 148 gives all Ontario workers a minimum of two paid sick days and forces employers to pay part-time and casual staff at the same rate as full-time workers.
On Tuesday morning, the provincial government unveiled a series of regulatory and legislative changes that, if passed by the legislature, is intended to make it easier for employers to hire and workers to find jobs in Ontario.
The new policy would maintain Ontario’s current minimum wage at $14 per hour until 2020 and replace the ‘Personal Emergency Leave’ rules, and now workers will be able to take up to three days for personal illness, two for bereavement and three for family responsibilities.
Additionally, the current provisions for domestic and sexual violence leave will be maintained.
“When it comes to the economy, being ‘For the People’ means keeping and growing good jobs right here in Ontario,” said Jim Wilson, Ontario’s Minister Responsible for Red Tape and Regulatory Burden Reduction, in a statement.
“This will not happen on its own. Instead, it starts with cutting the unnecessary red tape that is driving jobs and investment out of our province.”
According to the provincial government, if the ‘Making Ontario Open for Business’ Act is passed, it will “enable more Ontario employers to boost job creation and investment by cutting unnecessary regulations that are inefficient, inflexible and out of date, while maintaining standards to keep Ontarians safe and healthy.”
The new Act hopes to also address the backlog in the province’s skilled trades by replacing the older model with a one-to-one journeyperson-to-apprentice ratio for every trade for which ratios apply, thereby better aligning Ontario with other provinces and territories.
“Today’s reforms are vital to create good jobs and stimulate new investment. We are lightening the burden on businesses and making sure that hard work is rewarded while proving to the world that Ontario is open for business,” said Laurie Scott, Minister of Labour.