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December 10th, 2004:

NEW EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS LAW MEANS INCREASED PROTECTION FOR WORKERS

Government giving greater choice and improving quality of life

TORONTO--The government is ending the 60 hour work week, giving employees genuine choice about working excess hours and preserving flexibility for businesses, Labour Minister Chris Bentley announced today.

“We are protecting vulnerable workers by strengthening their right to decide whether or not to work excess hours,” said Bentley. “At the same time, we are ensuring Ontario businesses have the ability to adapt quickly to compete in today’s economy.”

Workplaces must be in compliance with the new law, passed by the legislature December 9, 2004 when it comes into force on March 1, 2005. Until then, the current law applies.

The Employment Standards Amendment Act (Hours of Work and Other Matters), 2004, will require employers who want employees to work more than 48 hours in a week to:

  • Give non-unionized employees an information sheet, published by the Ministry of Labour on rights and responsibilities regarding hours of work and overtime pay
  • Obtain written agreement from the employee, or from the union if the workplace is unionized
  • Receive approval from the Ministry of Labour. If the ministry has not made a decision on an application within 30 days, a limited number of excess weekly hours can be worked, provided certain conditions are met.

“By giving our people greater choice, we are improving their quality of life,” Bentley said. “This is part of our plan to strengthen our greatest competitive advantage--the people of Ontario.”


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Contacts:
Peter Fitzpatrick
Minister's Office
416-326-7710

Belinda Sutton
Ministry of Labour
416-326-7405
 


Written By: Ministry of Labour
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