Editor's Note: In his column series on the implication of Ontario minimum wage hike, Bob Mok explores other aspects of the proposed legislation that will take a toll on Ontario employers.
This is the second in a series of articles on Minimum wage increases and proposed legislation on labour reforms in Ontario. For the first article, click here:http://chinesenewsgroup.com/news/662164
With all the focus placed on the Mimimum Wage increase, it is easy to lose sight of the other reform proposals which have a more significant impact. So what are these other proposed legislation? Let us look at them in detail:
1) Requirement that after five years with the same employer, the minimum vacation entitlement for workers would rise to three weeks per year from two years.
For employers, this translates into more than $644.65 to hire someone gaining minimum wages to replace the eligible worker during this extra week of vacation. If the employee is already making above minimum wages, then it will cost even more.
2) Equal pay would be mandated for part-time workers doing the same job as a full-time workers.
There are many part-time workers currently working as supplementary help to fill in for full-time workers going on vacations or simply serve as a convenient resource pool for partial shifts. These part-time workers typically make minimum wages or wages less than those of full-time workers. Many employers use this method to minimize their head counts until they can increase their business volume and justify additional staff. With the new legislation, employers will refrain from hiring part-time employees at full-time employee wages unless absolutely necessary.
3) All workers would also be given 10 personal emergency leave days a year, and a minimum of two of those days must be paid.
Currently, only employees of large companies and some union members are entitled to this. Employers would not be allowed to request a sick note from an employee taking personal emergency leave. This is modelled after the sick leave system practised in many unions. Under that system, union members can also “bank” the sick leave days and eventually convert them to holidays or lump sum payments at retirement.
While there is no provision for the new legislation for “Banking” these personal emergency leave days, there are also no provisions for advanced notifications to the employers as well. An employee can call in the night before or just before the shift and “announce” a personal emergency leave day, leaving the employer to scramble for a replacement worker. This action can then be complicated by another piece of new legislation relating to “refusal of shift if given less than 4 days notice” (to be explained later in this series of articles).
Employers have to locate eplacement staff for up to 10 times a year for each employee. Multiply this by the number of employees at a large work place and you can imagine the need to hire someone just to manage this adjustment on a regular basis to make sure that there will be sufficient number of staff members to run the office or production lines. Some of the declared personal emergency leave days are genuine while others may not be totally legitimate and they cannot be verified.
This is the most controversial item amongst the reforms. Imagine the sunny summer Fridays turning into a long weekend for many workers to get a head start for their cottages and vacations, all without consequences and repercussions. There are even 2 paid days out of the 10 personal emergency leave days! I can see how arguments and trust issues between employer and employees can develop because of this entitlement and may end up in litigation.
Employers recognize these items are drawn from existing union contracts now extending to cover the non-unionized worker. All of the above measures present extra monetary outlay from the employers in order to benefit the employees.
Next time, we will further examine other items on the proposed labour reform.
我们鼓励所有读者在我们的文章和博客上分享意见。We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. Visit the FAQ page for more information.