NOTE: These have rules have been repealed and will NOT be in effect on January 1, 2019. The post will stay up for archive purposes.
We have talked a lot on this blog about the new changes to employment law that have already come into effect in Ontario.
There are still some changes to the law that have passed but will only come into effect in 2019. Which changes are those? Well, there are 5 changes to the way dentists are able to schedule their employees.
Scheduling Dental Staff in 2019
Updated Three Hour Rule
The government has updated the existing three-hour rule for all employees. Basically, an employee who regularly works more than three hours a day (and who you required to attend at work for more than 3 hours) and who works less than three hours, is entitled to a minimum 3 hours’ pay. The calculation of how those 3 hours are calculated was updated, and will be based on the greater of these two amounts:
- three hours of pay at the employee’s regular rate; or
- the sum of the amount that the employee earned while working and the remaining time calculated at the employee’s regular rate.
But, don’t forget: this rule will not apply where the employer is unable to provide work due to fire, lightning, power failure, storms or other events or circumstances which are beyond the employer’s control.
Minimum On-Call Payment
I know one or two dental offices who have “on-call” team members, and so this may or may not apply to all dentists in Ontario. Nevertheless, employees who are placed “on-call” but are ultimately not called into work will be entitled to 3 hours of wages as calculated above. This also will apply to on-call employees who work less than 3 hours.
Minimum Cancellation Pay
In 2019, an employer will be required to pay an employee for at least 3 hours of work if the employer cancels the employee’s entire scheduled day of work within 48 hours of the commencement of the shift. The exception to this rule is a situation where the employer is unable to provide work because of reasons outside of their control (such as fire, lightning, power failure, storms or other events or circumstances which are beyond the employer’s control).
Right to Request Schedule or Work Location Changes
As of January 1, 2019, employees with at least 3 months of service will be entitled to request a schedule or work location change without reprisal. The new law does not impose an obligation on an employer to grant the employee’s request; but, the employer will have an obligation to discuss the request with the employee and notify the employee of their decision, in writing, within a reasonable time.
If the employer does grant the request, it must provide notice to the employee of the effective date of the change and the duration of same. If the request is denied, the employer is required to provide reasons for the denial.
Right to Refuse a Shift with Less Than 4 Days’ Notice
Employees will be able to refuse a request to work, or to be on call, without reprisal, on a day when they are not scheduled to do so, if the request is made less than 96 hours (4 days) before the time the employee would commence work. This right will not apply where the employer’s request is to deal with an emergency (or to remedy or reduce a threat to public safety, or to ensure the continued delivery of essential public services).
It may be a good idea to consider these changes, update your policy manuals, and perhaps even adopting these new rules in anticipation of January 1, 2019. You can test out how the new rules work and have a smooth transition to the updated law. Give us a call if you want to discuss these changes in more depth.