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Province to review holidays

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Ontario will conduct a review of the public holiday system under Part X of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) following feedback and discussions with stakeholders.

The review will be conducted in 2018 by the Ministry of Labour and forms part of the Ontario government's on-going response to the Changing Workplaces Review (CWR), the first comprehensive review of the province's labour and employment legislation in a generation.

The Changing Workplaces Review found that public holiday rules were the source of the most complaints under the ESA and needed to be simplified.

The CWR helped inform the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (FWBJA), which amended the public holiday pay (PHP) formula.

As an interim measure, the government has made a new regulation, O. Reg. 375/18, that reinstates the PHP formula that applied prior to the FWBJA for all employees.

“The Changing Workplaces Review was about bringing more fairness to workplaces in Ontario,” said Labour minister Kevin Flynn.

“Bill 148 is a reflection of that vision, with measures such as a $15 minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, and paid sick days put in place in order to ensure that workers' rights are always protected and that they are paid a decent wage,” he noted.

“This review of the public holiday pay section of the Employment Standards Act is part of our overall commitment to address the realities of the modern workplace and create a fair society,” Flynn added.

The regulation will come into effect July 1, 2018 and can be reviewed at www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/r18375

Submissions regarding the Public Holiday Pay Review can be sent to exemptions.review@ontario.ca

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