Bill 148: Real People, Real ConsequencesOctober 3, 2018
The labour reforms introduced by Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act, 2017 have had a significant impact on businesses of all sizes.
“In the months of September and October, we are not running ground transportation and only conducting a handful of tours. This is a drastic change for the region and area that we have worked so hard to promote. It’s simply no longer sustainable.” – Local Tour Business
“We are in the process of reviewing all of our prices and products on offer to determine how to try to become profitable again. For the past 5 years of our 10 years in business we were finally making a modest profit that we were using to pay down debt. Sadly, this year we are back in the red.” – Small Business Owner
“The unintended consequences of these rising operational and management costs to our employees associated with Bill 148 are loss of health and dental benefits, loss of private pension plan and loss of paid uniforms.” – City Welding Business
“The wholesale costs of the products we sell have gone up as our suppliers try to grapple with this drastic spike in their own payroll costs. For example, the farmers who grow our local produce, which is very labour intensive, are struggling to make this work. I truly fear for the future of locally grown produce.” – Independent Grocery Store
“Should the change that is scheduled for Jan 1, 2019 pertaining to scheduling changes come about, I will be absolutely paralyzed in my ability to backfill shifts that are left empty by workers taking paid emergency leave. I have a significant challenge in meeting my client’s needs, and the terms of my contracts because of the daily labour shortages. This coupled with the chronic shortage of workers in the region puts me in a critical position.” – Construction Service Provider
“Owners cannot simply be expected to absorb these costs and the significant financial risks associated with being a business owner.” – Small Business Owner
“There have been many days since Bill 148 has come into effect where due to lack of control on last-minute scheduling our hotel has had scheduling problems frequently resulting in either lost business or in other employees i.e. management having to pick up for the difference.” – Hotel Business
“We have seen labour cost increases surpassing 30% due to Bill 148, despite attempts to cut labour hours. To combat these cost increases, our prices increased by nine percent leading into 2018. As a result, we lost a wedding customer and approximately $15,000 in revenue. Other customers decreased their wedding guest list, to absorb the price increase, resulting in further decreased special event revenue. Our golf membership base, meanwhile, decreased by approximately 15% as a result of increased membership fees, due to Bill 148, resulting in a net revenue loss of approximately $20,000. Therefore, not only did our costs increase as a result of Bill 148, our revenues went down as well.” – Golf Club
“Our company experienced a reduction in employment. This reduction was a result of clients not accepting any price increase to their services. As we were not able to maintain their service level at the new wage rates, we reduced the services by reducing the labour hours we were providing. This decrease in hours was approximately 23%.” – Cleaning Service Business
“Bill 148 has limited the amount of funds and cash flow necessary to upgrade or add additional pieces of equipment. Therefore, I have to prioritize which equipment that is necessary and affordable and which equipment will have to be postponed to next fiscal year or following fiscal years.” – Ice Cream Business
About Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act, 2017.
Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, was passed on November 22, 2017. This legislation makes several changes to both the Employment Standards Act, 2000, the Labour Relations Act, 1995, and the Occupational Health and Safety Act, including raising the minimum wage.