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AOHC’s statement on changes to Ontario labour laws
On May 30th Premier Wynne announced a number of changes to Ontario labour laws which aim to better protect part time and contract workers. These changes will be part of new draft legislation,The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, which will be introduced in the Fall. The legislation responds to the recommendations of the Changing Workplaces Review report which held consultations with stakeholders over the past two years. AOHC provided input to the consultations and has actively supported the ‘$15 and Fairness campaign’ and the Decent Work and Health Network in calling for 7 paid sick days and other specific changes to labour legislation.
AOHC welcomes the announced changes which will increase income for low wage workers, improve working conditions and support better health outcomes for precarious workers in Ontario. We applaud the government’s decision to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour by 2019 and to mandate equal pay for part time and temporary workers. Our members see firsthand the impact of poverty on health so we know that greater income security will improve the health and wellbeing of the people they serve in communities across Ontario.
AOHC is disappointed that the government chose not to ensure a minimum of 7 paid sick days for all employees. The decision to legislate a minimum of 2 paid sick days as part of 10 days of personal emergency leave for all workers is a step forward. We are pleased that there will be no requirement of a sick note when people take personal emergency leave as this was not a good use of health service providers’ time. As the legislation moves into committee discussion we will continue to call for a minimum of 7 paid sick days for all employees.