NEWS RELEASE: Government Announces Repeal of Bill 148; Good News for Construction
Toronto, October 23, 2018 – Earlier today, the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Jim
Wilson, the Minister of Labour, Laurie Scott and the Minister of Training Colleges and Universities, Merrilee
Fullerton, jointly announced our new government’s intention to introduce legislation to repeal amendments
made by the Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act 2017 (Bill 148) that place an unnecessary burden on employers.
The legislation, if passed, will amend the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and the Labour Relations Act (LRA).
It will be called the Ontario Open for Business Act and be introduced in the Ontario Legislature this afternoon.
COCA applauds the government’s actions to repeal amendments to the ESA that were made by the former
government and which were unnecessarily burdensome and impractical for the construction industry. These
specific amendments were made without consideration for the unique nature of employment in the
construction industry. COCA sought relief from the scheduling requirements and the personal emergency
leave obligations contained in Bill 148 from the former government and in the early days of our new
“COCA met recently with Minister Scott and with senior officials in Minister Wilson’s Office to press for relief
from a number of specific provisions contained in the Bill 148 amendments to the Employment Standards Act
that are onerous and unworkable for the construction industry,” stated COCA Chair, Steve Dietrich. “Our new
government listened to our reasoned requests and they took the appropriate actions”, Dietrich added.
The Ontario Open for Business Act will repeal the following scheduling provisions that will come into force on
January 1, 2019:
• Right to request changes to schedule or work location after an employee has been employed for at least
• Minimum of three hours’ pay for being on-call if the employee is available to work but is not called in to
work or works less than three hours.
• Right to refuse requests or demands to work or to be on-call on a day that an employee is not scheduled
to work or to be on-call with less than 96 hours’ notice.
• Three hours’ pay in the event of cancellation of a scheduled shift or an on-call shift within 48 hours
before the shift was to begin.
• The record-keeping requirements that relate to the above-noted scheduling provisions.
The Ontario Open for Business Act will amends the Personal Emergency Leave provisions as follows:
• Replacing the Personal Emergency Leave provisions with a straightforward package of annual leave days
for every worker.
• Providing every worker with the right to take up to three days for personal illness, two for bereavement
and three for family responsibilities.
• Preserving the right of every worker in Ontario to receive three weeks of paid vacation after five years.
• Protecting current paid leave provisions for cases of domestic and sexual violence affecting an employee
or an employee’s child.
• Giving employers the right to require evidence of entitlement to sick leave that is reasonable in the
The Council of Ontario Construction Associations is a federation of 30 construction associations representing
10,000 general and trade contractors of all sizes, both unionized and non-union, that work in the industrial,
commercial and institutional construction sector in all regions of the Province. COCA is the largest and most
representative voice for the non-residential construction sector in Ontario.
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