OASW commends the government for the decision to increase minimum wage to $15 per hour as of January 1, 2019 and its’ commitment to increasing this amount with the rate of inflation each year. This is a major step towards reducing poverty and increasing the health of many Ontarians. However, there is more work that needs to be done to ensure that everyone can benefit equally from updates to existing legislation.
As social workers, we are well positioned to comment on the significant link between income and health as well as the negative impact that precarious work can have on mental wellbeing. Bill 148: Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 contains proposed amendments that if passed, will result in important changes to legislation, including a mandatory increase in minimum wage to $15 per hour. While OASW believes these changes are commendable and represent a significant step towards reducing poverty and increasing the health and well-being of many Ontarians, we recently expressed to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs that more action is needed.
In November 2017, we offered our endorsement of Ontario Campaign 2000’s submission to the Standing Committee to increase protections for those in precarious work environments, including:
• Extending full minimum wage to sub-minimum wage earners.
• Creating new rules to prevent the exploitation of those in temporary work assignments.
• Making it mandatory to provide employees with their schedules two weeks in advance to reduce financial uncertainty and stress.
Please see attached below:
OASW’s full letter to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs (PDF)
Ontario Campaign 2000’s Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs (PDF or External Link)