What's Old is New Again in Ontario Workplaces as Bill 47 Receives Royal Assent 


November 2018

Employment and Labour Relations Law Bulletin

The Ontario government’s Bill 47, the “Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018”, through which the province is repealing most of the changes brought about in late 2017 by Bill 148 under the previous provincial government, has received Royal Assent.

We previously outlined the key changes being made through Bill 47. We also provided an in-depth look at the specific changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and how those changes might affect employers.

Now that Bill 47 has received Royal Assent, all changes to the Labour Relations Act, 1995 ("LRA") have immediate effect, while changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 ("ESA") take effect on January 1, 2019.

The province has made a handful of fairly minor amendments to the Bill since it was first introduced. One notable amendment involves the authority provided to the Ontario Labour Relations Board ("OLRB") to review bargaining unit structures. Initially, Bill 47 proposed a substituted section 15.1 of the LRA which would have given the OLRB general review power as opposed to broader power to consolidate bargaining units provided under Bill 148.  The general review provision has now been completely removed and section 15.1 deleted from the LRA.

With the changes to the LRA taking effect either immediately and changes to the ESA taking effect on January 1, 2019, Ontario employers will need to promptly assess those changes’ impacts on their workplaces.

McMillan’s employment and labour relations team is available to assist with any transition advice.

by Kyle Lambert

a cautionary note

The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained.

© McMillan LLP 2018