Bill 148

Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 became law on November 27, 2017. As we have written in the special Bill 148 edition of our newsletter, In the Know, Bill 148 amends the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”), Labour Relations Act, 1995 (the “LRA”) and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (the “OHSA”). As we noted in our blogs earlier this year on the changes to the ESA and the OHSA and the changes to the LRA that had come into force on or before January 1, 2018, the coming into force dates of the amendments are staggered, particularly with regards to the ESA.

Below we detail the Bill 148-enacted changes to the ESA to provisions regarding Equal Pay for Equal Work, which came into force on April 1, 2018.

Came into Force April 1, 2018

  • Differential payment on the basis of employment status will be prohibited where part-time, casual, seasonal, and assignment employees:
    • Perform the same kind of work in the same establishment
    • Use substantially the same, but not necessarily identical, skill and effort, and take on the same responsibilities
    • Work under substantially similar conditions unless the differences in payment are based on a provision of a collective agreement in effect on April 1, 2018, in which case the collective agreement prevails until the earlier of:
      • The expiry of the collective agreement, or
      • January 1, 2020
  • However, different pay rate will be permitted based on:
    • A seniority or merit system,
    • A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or
    • Any other factor other than sex or employment status
  • Part-time, casual, temporary, and seasonal employees may request a review of their wages if they believe they are paid less based solely on employment status
    • Employers who disagree with the employee’s belief must provide a written response outlining the reasons for disagreement
  • Employers may not reprise against employees for
    • Making inquiries about rate of pay, or
    • Disclosing their rate of pay for the purpose of determining or assisting in determining whether the employer is complying with the equal pay for equal work provisions

Should you have any questions about the new legislative requirements and/or how to strategically meet your compliance obligations, please feel free to contact any of our lawyers.