Canadian Franchise Association

Ontario Changing Workplaces Review


Joint Employer NOT Included as Ontario Government Announces Proposed Changes to Employment Standards and Labour Relations Laws

On May 30, 2017, Premier Kathleen Wynne and Labour Minister Kevin Flynn announced significant proposed changes to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and Labour Relations Act (LRA). The proposals, which will be introduced into the Ontario Legislature this week, do not include joint employer or provisions that specifically target the franchise industry or franchise business model.

The collective voice of our membership has clearly been heard through our Franchise Awareness Day, letter writing campaign, and face-to-face meetings with government officials at Queen’s Park and in their constituency offices. CFA applauds the Government of Ontario for recognizing the independent business relationship between franchisor and franchisee as well as the significant contribution the franchising sector makes to jobs and the economy.

Although franchising specifically was not targeted, the government’s proposals do contain a number of provisions which will have an impact on Ontario businesses. Those include:

  • Card check certification for the building services sector, home care, and community services industry (CFA will reach out to these segments of our membership separately);
  • $15 minimum wage, with phased in increases set to occur on January 1, 2018 ($14) and January 1, 2019 ($15);
  • Part-time workers to receive equal pay for equal work as done by full-time workers;
  • Increased minimum vacation from 2 weeks to 3 weeks for employees who have been with the same company for more than 5 years;
  • New scheduling rules requiring 3 hours of wages be paid if a shift is cancelled without 48 hours’ notice;
  • Personal Emergency Leave (PEL)
    • Removal of 50-employee threshold to Personal Emergency Leave (PEL) requirements; and,
    • 10 PEL Days will now include 2 paid days
  • Allowing unions to access employee lists and certain contact information, provided the union can demonstrate that it has already achieved the support of 20 per cent of employees involved;
  • Allowing the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) to change the structure of bargaining units within a single employer, where the existing bargaining units are no longer appropriate for collective bargaining;
  • Allowing the OLRB to consolidate newly certified bargaining units with other existing bargaining units under a single employer, where those units are represented by the same bargaining agent;
  • Making the following changes to the union certification process:
    • Eliminating certain conditions for remedial union certification, allowing unions to more easily get certified when an employer engages in misconduct that contravenes the LRA; and,
    • Making access to first contract arbitration easier, and also adding an intensive mediation component to the process.
  • Increasing maximum fines under the Labour Relations Act to $5,000 for individuals and $100,000 for organizations (from the current $2,000 for individuals and $25,000 for organizations).

A detailed backgrounder on the Government’s proposed changes to Ontario’s employment and labour laws can be found here.

CFA will continue to remain diligent in bringing the issues of the franchise industry forward throughout the summer during the legislation’s consultation period and through to Royal Assent in the early Fall.

For more information about the proposed changes, please contact Ryan Eickmeier, CFA Vice President, Government Relations & Public Policy at or 416-695-2896 ext. 297.

Access CFA’s written submissions on the Changing Workplaces Review:

CFA’s Submission Re: Changing Workplaces Review Interim Report (October 2016)

CFA’s Submission to the Changing Workplaces Review (September 2015)

Ontario Government Introduces Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (Learn more

Joint Employer NOT Included as Ontario Government Announces Proposed Changes to Employment Standards and Labour Relations Laws (Learn more

Ontario government releases Changing Workplaces Review Final Report (Learn more

Special Panel Presentation Video on the Changing Workplaces Review and its impact on franchisors and franchisees. (Watch now)