The Ontario government is welcoming 2019 with reforms to make our province more competitive and signal that Ontario is open for business.
Changes related to Ontario’s labour market that came into effect on Jan. 1 include:
•Employers will save $1.45 billion in premiums paid to the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB).
This immediate injection into our economy translates into an average WSIB premium rate cut of nearly 30 percent for businesses across Ontario.
•Keeping the minimum wage at $14 on Jan. 1, 2019. This saves thousands of jobs across Ontario as the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario estimated the $15 minimum wage would have eliminated 50,000 jobs.
Annual minimum wage increases, tied to inflation, will resume next year in 2020.
•Delaying the coming into force date of the Pay Transparency Act, 2018 to properly consult with stakeholders.
•Preserving the flexibility of workers and job creators to decide workplace schedules without unnecessary regulation from Queen’s Park.
“Our government is working harder, smarter, and more efficiently to make life better for the people of Ontario,” said Labour minister Laurie Scott.
“Our reforms put money back into the economy so job creators can invest in new equipment and create good jobs,” she noted.
In 2018, Scott directed five separate legislative reforms:
•putting York University students back into the classroom;
•repealing job-killing red tape through reforms in the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018;
•reforming firefighter labour relations and delaying the Pay Transparency Act, 2018 through reforms introduced with the Fall Economic Statement;
•ensuring a level playing field for all construction workers building public infrastructure through the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018; and
•introducing the Labour Relations Amendment Act (Protecting Ontario’s Power Supply), 2018 to keep the lights on across Ontario over the holidays.
In 2019, Scott will continue working to give Ontario one of the most dynamic labour markets in North America.
“In the new year, we will continue our efforts to make it easier to start or grow a business and invest in Ontario, building an economy that benefits all in this province,” Scott pledged.
“I am proud to lead a ministry responsible for dynamic labour markets and safe workplaces.”