The Ontario government is reviewing the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act for the first time in decades.
The two Special Advisors leading the Changing Workplaces Review issued an Interim Report on July 27, 2016.
The Interim Report outlines a number of different options for changes that the government could make to these two important pieces of legislation, which set out the minimum standards for workplace rights and protections in Ontario that can’t legally be breached.
This review is very important as it’s widely recognized that the current standards don’t provide enough protection for precarious and vulnerable workers, especially given that the number of precarious jobs in the labour market is growing.
The Special Advisors have asked for interested groups, organizations and individuals to provide feedback on the Interim Report to help inform their Final Report to the government.
ISAC has made a submission on the options for changing Personal Emergency Leave provisions in the Employment Standards Act. The Special Advisors asked for this feedback by August 31.
The current Personal Emergency Leave provisions give workers in workplaces with 50 or more employees the right to 10 days of unpaid leave to use for a personal illness, injury or medical emergency, or for the death, illness, injury or medical emergency or urgent matter involving their family members.
Our submission, which supports and draws on the work of the Workers’ Action Centre, outlines:
- our endorsement of Option 2, which would end the exemption for companies that regularly employ fewer than 50 employees from the requirement to provide Personal Emergency Leave
- the importance of Personal Emergency Leave for all workers, particularly those who work in precarious jobs without paid sick days or employer-based sick leave policies
- the importance of addressing the lack of Personal Emergency Leave for workers in small workplaces, given that these jobs are more likely to be precarious and that these workers are more likely to be women
- our concern that Personal Emergency Leave feedback is being gathered and considered separately from other issues in the Interim Report.
You can read our submission here: ISAC Submission - Changing Workplaces Review - Personal Emergency Leave - August 31 2016.
We will also be making a submission on the other aspects of the Interim Report. The Special Advisors have asked for that feedback by October 14.
You can read the Changing Workplaces Review Interim Report and learn more about the review here: https://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/about/workplace/.
You can read the Workers’ Action Centre’s submissions to the Changing Workplaces Review here: http://www.workersactioncentre.org/press-room/policy-papers/