BY VIRGINIA ATWELL
We are now just over a week in the new year of 2018, with this new year brings Ontario’s new labour laws which is supposed to create a better and fairer workplace.
As of Jan. 1, minimum wage has increased to $14 an hour which will go up to $15 in 2019, workers are now entitled to three weeks paid vacation if they have worked with the same employer for over five years, get 10 sick days without a doctor’s note and get paid for at least two of those days, get paid if their shift gets taken away within 48 hours and much more. Although these new labour laws may seem great there are others who disagree.
According to CBC, employees from Tim Hortons across Ontario will have their benefits taken away from them and lose perks such as paid breaks while others are losing their jobs. Many don’t know their rights or that anything has changed.
“Everyone I’m talking to isn’t happy. It’s good that part-time workers gain more money but I only make an extra 55 cents,” says Codi Thordarson, who preps food as a dietary aide at an Orangeville retirement home.
“There’s many people at my job who have been working there for years and haven’t gotten much of a raise. One good thing is not having to bring a doctor’s note in,” adds Thordarson. To make workers aware of their rights, some say it should be mandatory for employers to let their employees know when there’s a change in the law.
“As a worker I can see this new legislation being greatly beneficial” says Emma Slaunwhite, who works as an early childhood educator in Oakville.
“Missing days of work due to illness is hard enough, as it impacts my finances. With this legislation I will no longer be required to pay for a doctors note on top of already missing work,” adds Slaunwhite.
The maximum fine for employers that violate these employment standards will raise from $250, $500 and $1,000 to $350, $700 and $1,500 along with their names being published if fined.