Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

Bill 18: An Act to amend various statutes with respect to employment and labour

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association for registered nurses who practise in all roles and sectors across Ontario.

RNAO appreciates the opportunity to present this submission on Bill 18, An Act to amend various statutes with respect to employment and labour to the Standing Committee on General Government. However, the precipitous movement of Bill 18 from Second Reading on October 29, 2014 to the deadline for submissions to this committee by 3:00 pm on October 30, 2014 did not permit us to prepare an oral submission or a more detailed written submission. Moving forward, it would be helpful if Committees ensured sufficient time for Ontarians to be able to provide thoughtful feedback both to strengthen legislation and the democratic process.

There is compelling evidence in Ontario, Canada, and across the globe that decent employment with fair wages and working conditions are important drivers of individual, family, and community health. In order to help build a "fairer and healthier Ontario," it is critical that Bill 18 be strengthened and passed.

The RNAO supports strengthening Bill 18 by implementation of the following recommendations:

  1. Amend Bill 18 so that temporary employment agencies and the client company where workers are assigned are jointly responsible for all rights under the Employment Standards Act.
  2. Amend Bill 18 to remove the six-months implementation delay on removing the $10,000 cap on unpaid wages recoverable under the Employment Standards Act and on extending the claims period to two years. Workers should not have to endure a delay of six months before they can claim for the full amount of wages that they are owed.
  3. Increase the minimum wage to $14 per hour in the next budget. RNAO supports the widespread community call to bring those working at least 35-hours per week at minimum wage at least 10 per cent above the poverty line as a step toward a living wage.

For more information on the evidence and rationale of the first two recommendations, we recommend resources from the Workers Action Centre.
RNAO's arguments to support increasing the minimum wage are attached as follows:

  • RNAO submission to Minimum Wage Advisory Panel: Increase the minimum wage so that work is a pathway out of poverty, October 2013
  • RNAO letter to Premier, January 27, 2014
  • RNAO letter to Premier, February 26, 2014

Thank you for this opportunity to provide feedback on Bill 18 to the Standing Committee on General Government. Please contact us if you have any questions about this submission or would like more information.

Download the full submission with references

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