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Government announces new employment law changes

By May 30, 2017November 5th, 2019Employment Law

As we expected, the Ontario Government announced how they are going to update employment and labour laws in Ontario.  After the lengthy Changing Workplaces Review was completed this month, the government moved fast to tell us which of the recommendations they would implement.

Dentists in Ontario should take note of the following updates to the law that will likely come into effect in 2018 or 2019:

Minimum Wage

  • Increasing minimum wage to $14/hour, and then a further increase to $15/hour by 2019; and
  • Equal pay mandated for part-time workers who are doing the same job as a full-time workers (unless the wage difference is based on seniority, merit, production, or other factors excluding gender or employment status).


  • Employees would have the right to request schedule or location changes after working for 3 months;
  • Employees must be paid at least 3 hours whenever they show up for a shift (regardless if if they are sent home early);
  • Allowing employees the right to refuse to accept shifts without repercussion if they are asked with less than 4 days’ notice;
  • Mandating that if a shift is cancelled within 48 hours of its start, employees must be paid 3 hours;
  • For employees who are “on-call” and not called in to work, they must be paid 3 hours (for each 24-hour period);
  • If an employee works for more than one position and work overtime, they must be paid their wage for the position that they work during the overtime period; and
  • Ensuring that all Employment Standards Act requirements and entitlements apply to employees during training (and likely working interviews).

Independent Contractor vs. Employees

  • Prohibiting employers from misclassifying employees as “independent contractors” when they really are employees (or dependent contractors), and increasing enforcement by the Ministry.

Paid Vacation and Holiday Pay

  • Giving 3 weeks of paid vacation to employees who have worked at least 5 years with the same employer; and
  • Simplifying the calculation of holiday pay so that employees are entitled to their average daily wage;

Unpaid Leaves of Absences

  • Giving 10 days of unpaid Personal Emergency Leave to all employees; and
  • Prohibiting employers from asking for doctors notes for employees who are on unpaid Personal Emergency Leave.


  • Increased enforcement of Employment Standards Act infractions by the Ministry of Labour, and increased sanctions.

We are ready to assist dentists who need to review their current employment law practices and contracts in order to be ready for these upcoming changes.  Contact us now to get started.

The Content of this post is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be legal, financial, tax, or other professional advice of any kind. You are advised to contact DMC (or other counsel) to seek specific legal advice concerning your individual situation.