On November 20, 2014, the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014 (formerly Bill 18), received royal assent in Ontario, but some of the enacted changes to the Employment Standards Act were delayed coming into force. Tomorrow, February 20, 2015, important changes to employment law legislation will take effect.

Elimination of the $10,000 cap on recovery for unpaid wages

Previously, there was a $10,000 maximum cap on orders for unpaid wages to an employee under the Employment Standards Act. Pursuant to the changes in Bill 18, there is no longer a monetary limit on employment standards officers’ orders for wages, and employees will no longer be forced to pursue larger claims through the courts.

Increase to time limits to bring complaints for unpaid wages or vacation pay

Additionally, the amendments in Bill 18 that are about to come into force will increase the time limits on when an employee can file a complaint to recover unpaid wages to two years from the previous six month limitation period. The time limit within which vacation pay can be recovered under the Act has also been increased to 12 months from six months. These changes are subject to a two-year transition period regarding claims that arose before these amendments came into effect.

Contact us about using the Employment Standards Act complaint mechanism

If you believe you may have a claim for unpaid wages or vacation pay, you should consult the employment law lawyers at Raven, Cameron, Ballantyne & Yazbeck LLP to determine the best means of recourse, recognizing that these legislative changes may allow for a practical and effective means of recovery by bringing a complaint under the amended Employment Standards Act regime.

[This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice, which cannot be given without consideration of your individual circumstances.]