Bill 148 Labour Law Changes

The following update is intended for Unifor members working in the Detroit Three. New labour laws in Ontario Bill 148 in Ontario recently made a number of substantial changes to our outdated employment laws. This overhaul of the Labour Relations Act and the Employment Standards Act is the result of years of community and labour organizing, mobilizing and advocating for change. Here’s what the new laws will mean for auto workers:

Effective December 3, 2017

  • Extended Parental Leave – ESA parental leaves have been amended to reflect new option of extending EI benefits during parental leave at a lower rate.
  • Critical Illness Leave – Corresponds to new EI Family Caregiver Benefit for Adults by giving a job protected leave for care of critically ill family member for 17 weeks.Effective January 1, 2018
  • Support for domestic violence survivors – Includes five paid days leave for domestic violence survivors and up to a total of 10 days off, plus an additional unpaid, job- protected 15 weeks leave.
  • Extended Pregnancy Leave – unpaid job protected leave extended from 6 weeks to 12 weeks when loss of pregnancy occurs (still-birth or miscarriage).
  • Family Medical Leave – unpaid job protected leave extended from 8 weeks to 28 weeks.
  • Vacation with Pay – minimum of 3 weeks paid vacation (at 6% of wage) for employeesafter 5 years.
  • Personal Emergency Leave – All employees now get Personal Emergency Leave. In the auto industry, the entitlement remains seven days for personal or family illness and family urgent matters, and three days for every bereavement for a family member. Two of the personal emergency leave days must be paid. However, the auto industry has lobbied government for broad exemptions from the two paid days by amending Regulation 502. If those exemptions are added to Regulation 502, Unifor will provide a further update.

* As of writing this document on December 21, 2017, auto workers are not entitled to the two paid days.

  • Child Death Leave – unpaid job protected leave for up to 104 weeks.

The following ESA provisions come into effect on or after April 1, 2018. Please note that Unifor will provide more details on these provisions in a future communication update.

  • Equal pay for equal work – April 1, 2018
  • Fairer scheduling practices – January 1, 2019


This communication is intended to provide a general overview of the changes to the Ontario ESA. For specific questions and or details, please contact the appropriate union representative.  For more information click here