November 2, 2018

Proposed Bill 47 would repeal elements of Bill 148 – here’s an overview of key changes

If Ontario’s Bill 47 goes into effect, it would repeal certain elements of Bill 148 and amend other employment standards, including scheduling and minimum wage. Here, Legal Counsel Lyndee Patterson provides an overview of key potential changes and what they mean for employers.

Ontario has proposed Bill 47, the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, which would repeal certain elements of Bill 148 and amend the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (LRA). Areas of amendment include scheduling, paid personal emergency leave days, minimum wage and equal pay provisions. 

Bill 47 was introduced on Oct. 23, 2018 and had second reading on Oct. 29, 2018. It could go into effect Jan. 1, 2019.

Related: Minimum wage increase, new holiday rules and more: what passing of Ontario’s Bill 148 means for employers

Bill 47: Details of the proposed change

The table below highlights certain payroll-impacting requirements in Ontario and potential changes to those requirements, based on whether Bill 47 passes.



Current Requirement

Requirement after January 2019

(no Bill 47)

Requirement after January 2019

(if Bill 47 passes)

Three-Hour Rule

3 x Minimum wage is the pay rate of the guarantee for employees who work < 3 hours (when the shift is regularly more than three hours)

3 x Regular rate is the pay rate of the guarantee for employees who work < 3 hours (when the shift is regularly more than three hours)

  • Call-in pay applies to on-call shifts as well as partially worked shifts
  • Call-in pay applies to cancelled scheduled work or cancelled on-call periods (unless 48 hours’ notice is given)
  • Employees can refuse shifts if given less than 96 hours’ notice
  • Employers are to record dates and times of work schedules, on-call shifts and any changes or cancellations impacting scheduling

3 x Regular rate is the pay rate of the guarantee for employees who work < 3 hours (when the shift is regularly more than three hours)

<-- bulleted changes planned for January 2019 would never become effective


Minimum wage


Jan. 1, 2018 

$14.00 per hour

Jan. 1, 2019

$15.00 per hour

Jan.  1, 2019

$14.00 per hour

Personal Emergency Leave

Personal Emergency Leave:

• Eight days unpaid

• Two paid days in each calendar year

• available to all EEs (no > 50 threshold)

• no medical certificate can be required

Replace Personal Emergency Leave with three unpaid leaves; personal illness (three days), family responsibility (three days), bereavement (two days)



Holiday Average: Four-week period of regular wages* divided by 20 (pro-rates the holiday average for part-time employment)

Example: three-day work week, six hours per shift = 3.6 hours’ holiday pay

Substitute Holidays – where an employee works on a public holiday there is an option to be paid regular pay but have a substitute day off with public holiday pay

*Include vacation pay payable

Overtime multiple rates



Mixed hourly rate – Pay the rate of the work performed after the weekly threshold is reached


(unchanged) three weeks, after five years


What does this mean for employers?

Employers looking forward to certainty have a bit longer to wait.  The Bill 47 changes summarized above remain to be passed – and both timing and whether the Bill will be passed in its current form are not known.

The cleanest approach would be to firm up expectations around scheduling, minimum wage and Personal Emergency Leave well in advance of January 1, 2019.  Unfortunately, at this point, it’s still possible that this latest Bill could be amended. 

In light of all of the changes in the last 12 months, it’s recommended that employers review their current internal policies and system setups.  Employers should validate that holiday, overtime and vacation setups reflect the known requirements and yield expected results.  Keeping a current document that pins down your status quo in all of these areas will save you time when the subject comes up. Again.


Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon or construed as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should review with your legal advisors how the laws identified in this post may apply to your specific situation.


Lyndee Patterson

Residing in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Lyndee Patterson is a lawyer on staff at Ceridian responsible for legislative compliance and for monitoring the provincial and federal legislative landscapes from an HCM perspective. She also represents Ceridian on the Federal Government Relations Advisory Council.

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