By Shefali Rajaputra, Bettina Burgess

On Oct. 23, 2018, the Ontario Government introduced Bill 47: Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018 (“Bill 47”). Bill 47 seeks to repeal most of the amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) enacted by what we have now come to refer to as Bill 148, formally entitled the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (“Bill 148”), passed in the final stretch of the Liberal’s most recent term in power.

Bill 148 made significant and controversial amendments to the ESA and Labour Relations Act (“LRA”), most of which were not well received by employers. Bill 148, introduced in June of 2017, stalled for several months leading up to and following first reading. Bill 148 then rapidly went through second and third reading, finally being passed on November 22, 2017, leaving very little time for employers to prepare for the changes, many of which took effect immediately or on January 1, 2018.