Bill 148, also known as the Fair Jobs, Better Workplaces Act, is quickly working its way through the Ontario legislature and, if passed into law, will make significant changes to Ontario’s labour and employment laws and impose many new obligations on employers. For more detailed information about the changes proposed in the current draft of the Bill, see our recent article Ontario Government Announces Workplace Reform Legislation.
The Ontario Premier announced the Bill on May 30, 2017 and it proceeded to First Reading before the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on June 1, 2017. Next, the Bill moved to the “Committee Stage” of the legislative process with the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs completing its public hearings in respect of the Bill on July 21, 2017. The Committee travelled to 10 communities across Ontario over two weeks and heard approximately 190 presentations from members of the public, businesses, labour organizations, and advocacy groups.
The Committee will now review the feedback it received and undertake a clause-by-clause review of the Bill in August, during which time amendments will be considered and voted on by Members of Provincial Parliament. The Bill will then be debated and voted on at a Second Reading and Third Reading, which are expected to take place in September.
Many of the changes proposed by the Bill remain hotly debated topics. Members of the public, businesses, labour organizations, and advocacy groups continue to advocate for a vast array of amendments to the Bill. Accordingly, the changes proposed by the Bill in its current state may not reflect the changes that are eventually enacted in law.