Bill 148 Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017

Bill 148 Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017

Below you’ll find a high level summary of a few of the more pertinent changes passed in Bill 148. For further details, please refer to our Legislative Updates Page or the website.

Bill 148 Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 was passed on November 22, 2017, making numerous changes to everything from minimum wage to fairer scheduling rules and holiday pay.

The change which has received the most press was an increase to minimum wage—from $11.60 to $14.00 per hour effective January 1, 2018, with a further increase to $15.00 per hour on January 1, 2019.  As a result of these two changes, the next CPI increase will not occur on October 1, 2019.

Also effective January 1, 2018, minimum employee vacation entitlement increased to three weeks annually (equivalent of 6% of annual pay) after five years of service.

The chart below summarizes the updated duration for a variety of leaves that took effective January 1, 2018. As a reminder, group benefits must be continued during the following leaves since an employee is still considered to be an active employee while on leave.



Death of a Child 

Up to 104 weeks. 

Crime-Related Disappearance of a Child 

Up to 104 weeks. 

Domestic or Sexual Violence 

Up to 10 days paid plus up to 15 weeks unpaid
(in the event the employee or their child is a victim of domestic or sexual violence). 

Personal Emergency Leave

(Waives the requirement that stipulated a minimum employee count of 50)

Up to 10 days leave, of which two days are paid.
Available to all employees in Ontario.
The employee needs to let the employer know before they start the leave (or, if this is not feasible, as soon as possible after starting the leave). It does not have to be in writing.

Employers can require an employee who takes personal emergency leave to provide evidence reasonable in the circumstances that the employee was entitled to the leave. However, employers cannot require employees to provide a note from a physician, registered nurse or psychologist.


From 6 to 12 weeks (in the event of a miscarriage or stillbirth).


From 35 to 61 weeks (for a parent who has taken maternity leave).
From 37 to 63 in all other cases.

Family Medical

From 8 to 27 weeks (in the event of a family member is at a significant risk of dying within the next 52 weeks).

Effective April 1, 2018, there will be changes to the treatment of casual, part time, temporary, and seasonal workers, which enforce equivalent pay with fulltime employees performing the same work.  The value of an employee’s group benefits and pension are not included in this calculation.

If you have any questions, please contact your Group Benefits Consultant.


Don’t forget to be on the lookout for our 2018 Guide to Canadian Benefits Legislation and Supplement—a high level overview of some of the benefits currently available through various Canadian government programs and legislation—scheduled for release at the end of April.