As anticipated, Bill 2 received royal assent in July 2019 and came into effect on September 1, 2019. As an employer there are some important revisions you should be aware of related to general holiday pay, banked overtime and the minimum wage.
We recommend reviewing your policies and handbooks and making the revisions applicable based on these legislative changes.
Effective September 1, 2019, employers will have the option of banking overtime as “straight time”, that is 1:1. One hour of banked time, to be used for time off at regular pay, for every hour of overtime worked. Overtime hours that were earned, and have not been paid, provided or taken before September 1st will need to be used according to the terms under which they were accrued, paid or taken at a minimum of 1.5x per hour worked. Any current overtime agreements, including applicable collective agreements will remain in effect unless specifically amended to reflect new terms.
We recommend that you review all current agreements. If you intend to change the way you accrue overtime, appropriately amend agreements, or in the absence of an agreement, communicate the change clearly to your employees
General Holiday Pay
Changes under Bill 2 reverse many of the changes implemented in 2018. Notably, employees will be required to work for the same employer for 30 working days in the 12 months preceding the general holiday in order to be eligible for holiday pay. If the general holiday falls on a day that would not normally have been a workday for an employee, they are not eligible for holiday pay. In the case of an irregular work schedule, an employee is only eligible for holiday pay if they have worked on that day of the week on which the holiday falls five (5) out of the preceding nine (9) weeks.
Minimum Wage Changes
In addition, under Bill 2 effective June 26, 2019, minimum wage for students under 18, who work up to 28 hours/week, will be reduced to $13/hour when school is in session or for all hours worked when on school break. If a student works in excess of 28 hours when school is in session, they must be paid $15/hour for the excess hours.