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IBAO against proposed changes to Ontario’s labour law | Canadian Insurance
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IBAO against proposed changes to Ontario’s labour law

The association worries about the potential effects on small businesses like those owned by brokers

The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) is sharing its concern regarding the Ontario government’s proposed legislation that would see the minimum wage increased and the expansion of personal emergency leave.

“Representing a large number of small businesses throughout the province, IBAO believes that these standards would come at a cost to employers and consumers and ultimately hinder economic growth,” states the IBAO’s announcement.

The province announced its intention on May 30 to introduce the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act. The proposed changes would include an increase to the minimum wage to $14 per hour on Jan. 1, 2018 and a subsequent increase to $15 on Jan. 1, 2019. This would be followed by annual increases at the rate of inflation. The minimum wage is currently at $11.40.

The government is also looking to mandate equal pay for part-time, temporary, casual and seasonal employees doing the same job as full-time employees.

In addition, the province wants to expand personal emergency leave to include a minimum of two paid days per year for all workers and require that Ontario employees receive at least three weeks’ vacation after five years with a company.

“Many of these changes will have unforeseen negative impacts on small businesses (those with less than 50 employees) as escalating operation costs would limit the employer’s ability to invest in their employees, their communities and their business infrastructure,” the IBAO states.

The IBAO is calling on the Ontario government to include the association in its consultation process for the proposed legislation. “It’s essential that the government work with associations and small businesses across the province to determine the broad impact these changes will have prior to proceeding with legislation,” according to the IBAO.

“A complete overhaul of the system could result in negative economic consequences including changes to employee benefit programs, charitable giving and community stability in employment,” it adds.