Member Comments on Sweeping Changes to Ontario’s Employment and Labour Laws

“This is going to hurt an awful lot of marginal small businesses, and polarize businesses. What you are going to have is the big businesses that can absorb this which will be good for their employees but this will push smaller businesses over the edge. Every unreasonable action has an equal and opposite unreasonable reaction Small businesses need the help to find the way to push back so that they don’t become the victims of this. It’s all well and good to put in place well meaning legislation but it will be a disaster if it is not accompanied by education and support to the employer especially small business.”

– Small business consultant

“With the increase of the minimum wage especially restaurants and retail store they are going to transition more into electronic cashiers. Small businesses like me won’t be able to afford the risk of hiring young unexperienced people, the monetary incentive is gone, so we will choose to hire more experienced workers instead. This will hurt job growth, shrink existing jobs, and hinder job creation.”

 – Dufferin home builder

“We understand the necessity of creating a strong standard of living and a component to that is wage strength. The concern is that we have a Province with massive budgetary deficits even after selling off portions of Hydro One and gas plant contracts voided, so why not look for operational efficiencies within government and pass that onto the residents of Ontario, as opposed of having the burden fall on the backs Ontario businesses. Given 32% increases in wages ($11.40 – $15.00 ) over the current time-lines how do businesses generate revenue growth over the same period to counteract the impact? We would think in a lot of cases, they do not and look for cost cutting opportunities, thus potentially no increase in hiring as the Premier suggests. Profits for business continue to be pressured due to foreign exchange impacts, costs of benefit plans, cost of hydro, costs of consumable’s, remaining competitive in the labour market etc., and it appears to us that if rates go up its just another item that takes away from competitiveness. As for paid emergency leave days, if you are a company that already pays for a portion and now another two days are legislated then again what companies do to support their employees may need to be cut because two added sick days paid on top of current benefits may not be feasible. For the small business again added cost for absenteeism. It seems that the Liberals are on damage control from their previous Provincial issues.”

– Dufferin manufacturer

“As a small business we seriously consider every hire we make. Recent changes to employment regulations has already made it more onerous to take on new employees and increasing reforms will only make small businesses more reluctant to hire. My business could operate anywhere in Canada, and I am seriously considering to move out of Ontario.”

– Small Business

“As a small retail travel business owner in Dufferin County for 20 years I am very concerned with the Liberal Government implementing a minimum hourly rate of $15.00. Our business is based on salary + commission as it is primarily a retail sales role. Our employees have the ability to earn much more than the present hourly rate, as well taking into account health benefits paid by the company.The travel business is a LOW margin industry and should the proposed hourly rate be implemented – I and others in retail will definitely be put into a position to decrease our staffing. I am NOT in favor and strongly urge the government to carefully look at exempting small retail based businesses:
Mainly for 2 reasons:

1. Unfair to current long time employees earning $15/hr (and worked their way to that level) which will be very contentious and unfair – in order to retain we would be forced to increase these employees as well;
2. The norm in the industry is an Entry level Travel Sales Consultant presently is paid $11.40 per hour + commissions & incentives + benefits. It takes up to one year to train a new hire at a substantial cost to the company.”

– Retail travel business

“Unfortunately, farmers will have to absorb the cost of a wage increase because they have no way of passing the additional costs to the ‘end user.’ Any increase in cost of doing business will be absorbed by the farmer, this includes energy costs too. Increasing labour costs could also work against farmers even more because retailers buying our product(s) may buy less to cover their additional cost with increased labour cost.”

– Agricultural Products Business