Ontario Bill 148 and the Changes your Business Needs to Know



The Ontario government has made several changes to Ontario labour laws. Synerion has compiled a list of changes we believe may be relevant to your business.  If you have Ontario employees please take note of the following:

Effective December 3rd, 2017:

Parental Leave: Entitlement to parental leave will increase from 35 weeks to 61 weeks for employees who take pregnancy leave, and from 37 weeks to 63 weeks otherwise. Employees will not be eligible for this increased leave entitlement with respect to children who are born or come into their care before the day that the amendment comes into force.

Critical Illness Leave: Employees with six consecutive months of service will be entitled to a critical illness leave of absence of up to 17 weeks to provide care and support to a critically ill adult family member. This leave is in addition to the existing critically ill child care leave of up to 37 weeks.

As of January 1st, 2018:

Vacation Time: The minimum paid vacation time for employees who have worked for the same company 5 years or longer now is 3 weeks.

Personal Emergency Leave:  The new rules require all employers to give employees at minimum 10 personal leave days per year, At least 2 of the days need to be paid at employee’s regular wage once an employee has been employed for at least 7 days. 

Domestic or sexual violence Leave: An employee who has been employed for at least 13 consecutive weeks will be entitled to up to 10 individual days of leave and up to 15 weeks of leave if the employee or their child experiences domestic or sexual violence or the threat of domestic or sexual violence. The first 5 days of leave, each calendar year, will be paid, the rest will be unpaid.

Child death leave and crime-related child disappearance leave: An employee with six consecutive months of service whose child dies from any cause will be entitled to a child death leave for a period of up to 104 weeks. This leave is distinct from the crime-related child disappearance leave, which will also increase to 104 weeks.

Holiday pay: The public holiday pay calculation has been simplified and will be based on the number of days actually worked in the pay period immediately preceding the public holiday. Employees who work on the public holiday and receive a substitute day off must also be provided with written notice of the date of the substitute holiday.

*  The holiday pay calculation as of July 1, 2018, has changed back to the old formula pending review. 

Overtime Pay:  Employees who hold more than one position with an employer and who are working overtime must be paid at the rate for the position they are working at the time they pass the overtime threshold.

Your Synerion system currently has the ability to handle vacation and time off accrual policies. If you do not have accruals or time off requests set up with Synerion, we will be happy to update your service to help maintain compliance with these new rules.


Effective January 1st 2019:

Scheduling: There are several changes to scheduling an employee and how they must be paid.

The legislation will allow employees to:

  • request a schedule or location change once they’ve been employed for three months, without fear of being penalized
  • refuse shifts if their employer asks them to work with less than 96 hours’ notice, without fear of retaliation, with certain exceptions

Employees must be paid for 3 hours of work at regular pay if

  • regularly works more than three hours a day, shows up for work and works less than three hours or not at all (for example, the shift is cut short)
  • the shift is cancelled within 48 hours of their scheduled start time, with certain exceptions
  • is scheduled to be on-call but, despite being available to work, is either not called in to work or works less than three hours. This will be required for each 24-hour period the employee is on call

The Synerion system has a built-in scheduling module. We will be hosting a webinar in the coming months demonstrating how Synerion’s scheduler can help with compliance to these new regulations. 


For more information about these changes please see





Synerion North America Inc. (“Synerion”) is sharing this information as interpreted by Synerion and in no way warranting the accuracy of the information.  Please use this material as a reference guide only and refer to official provincial government resources to determine any impact to your business.