Ontario plans to increase enforcement, raise penalties for new workplace rules

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By memberservices@staffingindustry.com (Craig Johnson)

Ontario plans to increase enforcement and raise penalties to ensure employers stick to new rules, according to an announcement Monday by the Minister of Labour.

The new rules raised the minimum wage to C$14 effective Jan. 1 (and will raise them to C$15 next year), ensure that part-time workers be paid the same hourly wage as full-time workers, introduce paid sick days for every worker and provide at least three weeks of vacation after five years with the same employer, according to an announcement by the Minister of Labour.

“Workers deserve to be treated fairly at work. The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act addresses the needs of the modern workplace and provides a minimum wage that workers can actually live on,” Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn said in a statement.

“We are hiring more employment standards officers to improve enforcement as well as funding education to ensure workplaces get the essential information they need,” Flynn said. “We want to ensure everyone who works hard has the chance to reach their full potential and share in Ontario’s prosperity.”

Ontario plans to hire up to 175 additional employment standards officers, launch a program to educate businesses and employees, and publish the names of employers that don’t meet employment standards. The last point will include a date and description of what happened as well as the penalties.

In addition, penalties will go up to C$350 for the first infraction, C$700 for the second and C$1,500 for the third. The prior penalties were C$250 for the first, C$500 for the second and C$1,000 for the third.

The province will also introduce new ways to ensure enforcement of penalties against employers who refuse to pay employees, including the ability to issue warrants and register liens on personal property.

Source:: Ontario plans to increase enforcement, raise penalties for new workplace rules


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