Ontario is raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2019, ensuring equal pay for part-time workers and increasing the minimum vacation entitlement as part of a major labour overhaul. The reality is that more companies are choosing to hire part-time employees.
Despite that, Ontario's private sector is still doing its part to support workers, the business coalition said.
Premier Kathleen Wynne and Labour Minister Kevin Flynn are scheduled to detail the changes after receiving recommendations last week of a government-commissioned report aimed at creating better workplaces. "Many workers are struggling to support their families on part-time, contract or minimum-wage work". "They're raising children, saving up for their education, wondering if they'll ever be able to get ahead on the monthly budget, let alone own a home".
The report estimates that more than 30 per cent of Ontario workers were in precarious work in 2014.
The increase to minimum wage will be phased in over the next 18 months, rising to $14 per hour on January 1, 2018.
And local small business owners are anxious the higher minimum wage will force them to change their hours of operation or price their products higher, added Markovich.
"At the start of the Changing Workplaces Review process, the labour movement came to a consensus on changes that are essential for workers in this province", said Buckley.
Anti-poverty advocates in London heralded the proposed changes.
Unifor President Jerry Dias, Canada's most powerful private-sector union leader, said the measures are "a bold first step to modernize Ontario's employment laws".
"People are anxious about their jobs, and they're anxious about the future", she said during a press conference on Tuesday. "Fairness and decency must be the defining values of our workplaces".
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There are certain to be voices accusing the Liberals of bribing the electorate with other people's money before an election year: workers will be paid more, with the cash coming out of businesses' bottom line.
Every time we see one of these articles posted on social media, the top comment always reads: "Why in Ontario and not here?"
The legislature is expected to break for the summer this week, not returning until mid-September.
Businesses are questioning if they should grow in Ontario or expand offshore, according to the report.
"I get why there needs to be higher wages", he said Tuesday.
In announcing the changes, Premier Wynne said, "It has always been a challenge to raise a family on a minimum-wage job, but in recent years, it has become nearly impossible, and the reality is more and more people are having to do it".
She also said the government did not account for changing consumer behaviour.
Busker Rocky Moon, singing in the Byward Market today, collecting just a few coins on a rainy day, knows one thing for sure: that maybe his busking days are over with this announcement.
Employers will now be required to pay an employee three hours' wages if their shift is cancelled with less than 48 hours notice.
It is the largest increase in minimum wage in the Ontario's history as the current rate is $11.40. "Small businesses, who don't share the larger profit margins of big business, will be forced to make hard choices, including cutting hours and jobs". Earlier this year the province announced plans to make four wage increases over the next four years, bringing the minimum wage up to $12.45 per hour by 2020.