The impact of Bill 148 continues to become more pronounced as the magnitude of the changes become apparent to manufacturers in Ontario. The complexity these changes have created continue to challenge Human Resource professionals to think and act creatively in order to accommodate and satisfy their employee’s needs, their employers needs and those of the legislation.
Bellwyck Packaging Ltd. (www.bellwyck.ca), who kindly hosted this strategic interest group, provides smarter ideas and strategies to design, develop and produce top-quality packaging for their customers. Headquartered in Toronto, with seven manufacturing facilities across Canada and the U.S (including a plant in Owen Sound), Bellwyck Packaging Solutions is a collection of dynamic teams committed to a culture of innovation, quality and customer excellence.
Members attending this month’s Human Resources session joined us from a very broad region across Southwestern Ontario including Exeter, Wingham, Walkerton and Owen Sound.
During round table discussions we reviewed the Ministry of Labour announcement regarding the increased wages and other provisions surrounding the new legislation including items such as:
* Minimum wage increase to $14 on January 1st, 2018 and $15 on January 1st, 2019
* Vacation Pay (after 5 years of employment)
* Equal Pay for Equal Work (in effect April 1st, 2018)
* Temporary Help Agencies
* Request for Changes to Schedule or Work Changes
* Scheduled (3-Hour Rule)
* Leaves: Personal Employee Leave, Critical Illness Leave, Sexual Harassment & Violence Leave, Death of a Child Leave, etc.
(For more detailed information on the various elements of Bill 148 – please refer directly to the Act on the Ontario.ca website.)
Members shared their current strategies to deal with the changes in each of these areas, which included (but were not limited to), the following:
Regarding adjusting to the new minimum wage:
- Have to think outside the box to attract new employees.
- Wage changes have shrunk pay band gaps which need to be re-looked at in the coming year.
- Ultimately wages will shift upwards.
Regarding notice period changes:
- Need to have a clearly defined communicate process for handling this for employees.
- Necessary to document all correspondence with employees to demonstrate no retaliation (email, memo, letter)
Regarding emergency leave days:
- (New) 2 paid days.
- Clarification: It’s first two incidents/occurrences, not full days.
- Employer does still have the right to ask for details (just not for a doctor note).
- Bereavement CAN count as emergency leave if set out clearly in applicable policies.
- Consider reallocating existing “floater” days provided to employees.
It’s clear that the changes introduced by Bill 148 are a challenge for manufacturers of all sizes and sectors. These points as well as numerous other ideas shared are valuable to helping manufacturers and the Human Resource professionals that work for them, identify and introduce successful strategies to ensure Bill 148 doesn’t impact overall company competitiveness or profitability.
- A Plan for Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs, Bill 148
- “Minimum Wage is now $14 an Hour; Increased Paid Vacation and New Personal Emergency Days in Effect”, Ontario Ministry of Labour News (email@example.com), January 2018
- Ministry of Labour – Revised Ontario Employment Standards Poster – (which is required to be posted by employers in a conspicuous place in the workplace)
- “Ontario Workers Receive First Paycheques with New Minimum Wage”, Ontario News (firstname.lastname@example.org – www.ontario.ca/labour), January 12th, 2018
- “Ontario Enhancing Enforcement to Ensure Worker Rights are Protected”, Ontario News (email@example.com – www.ontario.ca/labour), January 15th, 2018
Next Owen Sound & Area SIGs:
Date: February 21st, 2018
Topic: Strategies for Business Development and Growth
Host: Troy Life and Fire Safety Limited
1042 2nd Ave E, Owen Sound, ON
RSVP: Kristy @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Very special thanks to our Host, Bellwyck Packaging Solutions, and all of the Manufacturers and Community Partners who joined us for this very special Networking Event!