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The Ontario Government has made changes to the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (Bill 148) to allow more time for foodservice operators to adjust to the legislation.

Bill 148 introduced changes to minimum wage, vacation entitlements, paid sick days, equal pay and scheduling rules, as well as first agreement mediation-arbitration and card-based certification.

Announced by Red Tape and Regulatory Burden Reduction Minister Jim Wilson, Labour Minister Laurie Scott, and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Merrilee Fullerton, the changes include implementing a minimum wage at $14 per hour until 2020, annually increasing minimum wage after 2020, and repealing planned scheduling provisions.

“Restaurants Canada applauds the new Progressive Conservative government in Ontario for hearing the concerns of our members.”

Foodservice industry association Restaurants Canada president and CEO Shanna Munro said: “Bill 148 forced restaurants to make tough choices that resulted in higher menu prices and fewer hours of work for staff.

“Restaurants Canada applauds the new Progressive Conservative government in Ontario for hearing the concerns of our members and taking action before the situation became even harder to bear.”

The association intends to work with the government on workplace legislation to support the foodservice sector.

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By GlobalData

Menu prices in Ontario increased by 6.6% this year as foodservice operators tried to adjust to the minimum wage increase in January.

Restaurants Canada’s vice-president for Central Canada division James Rilett said: “When their costs go up so suddenly, restaurants have difficult decisions to make if they want to stay open for business, either pass those costs onto consumers or cut staff hours or positions.

“These are mostly small business operators. Their success is critical to the wellbeing of the people they employ and serve in their communities.”