Ontario to announce update of labour laws and minimum wage increase today

The flagship policy of Wynne's labour initiative is hiking the minimum wage, which will rise to $14 per hour on January 1, 2018, and then to $15 on January 1, 2019, followed by annual increases pegged to the rate of inflation.

A demonstrator attends a downtown Windsor rally supporting $15/hr minimum wage in Canada.

The premier's office reports the increase would go to $14 an hour on January 1, 2018, and then the final jump the following New Year's Day.

The government also plans to introduce paid sick days for every worker.

CBC News reports that the minimum wage across the country ranges from $10.72 per hour in Saskatchewan, $13 in Nunavut and $15 in Alberta, which does into effect in October 2018. Companies that use workers from temp agencies will have to give those workers pay that is equal to permanent employees who are doing the same job.

"The economy has changed". But Wynne says the Liberals plan to work with the business communities on measuring the impact of the changes.

Currently, half of the workers in Ontario earning less than $15 per hour are between the ages of 25 and 64, and the majority are women.

The changes to workplace laws will also establish fairer rules for scheduling, including making employers play three hours of wages if they cancel a shift with fewer than 48 hours notice.

As for now, the provincial government will hire as many as 175 officers to launch the program aimed at educating workers and employees of the Employment Standards Act. "In a time of change like this, when the very nature of work is being transformed, we need to make certain that our workers are treated fairly".

As well as moving forward with legislation on the issues identified in the changing workplaces review, the government must set a $15 minimum wage immediately across the province. And after five years with a company, employees must be guaranteed at least three weeks of paid vacation.

According to the province, just under a third of working Ontarians make less than $15/hour.

  • Carolyn Briggs