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Canada: Ontario Introduces New Government Contract Wages Act, 2018

Bill 53 is the latest of many changes introduced by the Ontario government that would have a significant impact on Ontario’s workplaces. Briefly, Bill 53 will mandate employers engaged on certain government contracts to pay their workers in accordance with certain rates, if such rates are established by the government.

In particular, the Bill provides that employers shall pay at least the applicable minimum government contract wages for building cleaning work and security services work if an order is made establishing such wages before the relevant contract was entered into or renewed. In respect of construction work, employers would be required to pay at least the applicable minimum government contract wages if the order is made before the procurement process for the contract commences or, if there is no procurement process, before the contract is entered into. Employers cannot contract out of the provisions of Bill 53. Enforcement of the rights and duties under the Bill would be roughly analogous to the enforcement process under the Employment Standards Act, 2000, which involves complaints to the Ministry of Labour.

Bill 53, the Government Contract Wages Act, 2018 came into effect on the day it received Royal Assent (May 8, 2018). If you need more information or require advice on posting requirements, please contact a labour and employment lawyer licensed to practice in Ontario, Canada.