Public holiday pay

Revisions needed

The Ontario Government has announced another regulation as part of the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act – one businesses may be happy about. One of the biggest complaints the government received about the new legislation, which also introduced the $15 minimum wage, had to do with calculating public holiday pay.

The new calculations led to some extreme outcomes, such as if a person worked one eight-hour shift in a pay period, they would receive full public holiday pay, the same as a full-time individual. If a person who has two jobs, working one full day shift at each, they would potentially receive two full days of public holiday pay. The rule will revert back on July 1, while the government reviews the feedback.

When I interviewed Jackie Fraser of Fraberts Fresh Food for an issue of Business Leader, she said her most expensive day of 2018 was Jan. 1, and she wasn’t even open.

While I have written in the past favouring the increase to minimum wage, this part of the legislation didn’t make any sense.

It seemed to be the opposite of fairness, which is what the government was trying to achieve. Taking time to figure this one out will be beneficial in the long run.

– Olivia


Give it a chance

The Ontario government announced earlier this week that regulations for public holiday pay will be reverting back to what was in place prior to the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017.

The government’s reasoning: public holiday rules were the source of most complaints under the Employment Standards Act.

I get it, changes are confusing and I’m sure difficult to work into a payment plan.

But shouldn’t the government have considered public opinion before passing Bill 148?

Lower tier municipalities hold public meetings to stop up and close a road, yet the Ontario government missed a main public complaint for Bill 148?

Or maybe the government did provide ample opportunity for business owners to have their say, but few people took them up on the offer and concerns weren’t voiced.

I don’t know what happened at Queens Park last year, but I do know one thing: if we don’t give a change a fighting chance, we’re going to become a stagnant province.

Bill 148 should be implemented for at least a year before any further changes occur. After all, we’ve only had three holidays under the new regulations. Give it a chance.

– Jaime

Olivia Rutt and Jaime Myslik