Dentists in Ontario got a glimpse in how they will be expected to manage their employees in the future, with the release of the much-anticipated “Changing Workplaces Review“, finally made public on May 23, 2017.
The 420-page report contains 173 recommendations to changes to Ontario’s employment and labour laws. Of the recommendations, the following list applies to dentists and their team members:
- A change to permit dentists to form and join a union;
- A new rule that states that part-time workers cannot be paid less for doing the same work as full-time workers (unless there is an objective reason for doing so, like seniority or merit);
- A new rule that states an employee, after working for one year, can make an annual request to change their working hours or alter their location of work; the employer would have to respond in writing and the decision cannot be appealed;
- A new rule for temporary workers to limit the length of time a temp worker can be paid less than regular workers;
- Giving all employees up to 7 unpaid days of personal emergency leave;
- Giving all employees 3 unpaid days of bereavement leave;
- Forcing employers to pay for doctor’s notes if they request them;
- Increasing minimum vacation to 3 weeks (and 6% pay) per employee (after working for 5 years with the same employer);
- Removal of having to obtain Ministry approval for an employee working overtime hours between 48-60 hours;
- Removal the the “blended” overtime rate of pay;
- Include “dependent contractors” in the definition of “employees;” and
- More ESA inspections and investigations, and stronger employer sanctions.
Interestingly, there was no recommendation to give every employee paid sick days.
Before these changes come into effect, now is a good time to review your employment contracts to ensure that they are compatible with the future changes.
As of now, these recommendations are just that – recommendations. There has been no change in the law. We will keep dentists up to date as soon as a law is drafted.