RE:  Bill 148 and Personal Emergency Leave (PEL) Days

Paid Personal Emergency Leave (PEL) days were introduced into the Ontario Employment Standards Act (ESA) effective January 1, 2018.  Under the previous version of the ESA, employers with 50 or more employees were required to provide each employee with ten (10) unpaid PEL days in each calendar year.  The ESA has now been revised such that ALL employers, regardless of the size of the company, must provide any employee who has worked at least one (1) week, with ten (10) PEL days in each calendar year, the first two (2) of which must be paid. 

Construction employers have the following option for ‘construction’ employees of your business (not for ‘non-construction’ employees, i.e., office staff, etc.):

  • Provide two (2) paid PEL days and eight (8) unpaid PEL days; or
  • Provide 0.8% additional pay on the employee’s base hourly rate for personal emergency pay and ten (10) unpaid PEL days. 

If you choose to provide two (2) paid PEL days, the employee is entitled to his regular base rate of pay for the number of missed hours in the scheduled shift.  He is not entitled to overtime or premium pay, and you should not make any remittances to the union (vacation/statutory holiday pay, benefits, pension, union funds, etc.) for those hours. 

If you choose to pay the 0.8% on the base hourly rate, it is a benefit calculated on hours worked (not earned) and is not an addition ‘to’ the base rate, but rather a benefit calculated ‘from’ the base rate.  As such, it should be shown as a separate line item with other benefits on pay stubs.

Both options are subject to normal statutory deductions (taxes, EI, CPP, etc.).

The Terrazzo, Tile and Marble Guild of Ontario, Inc. is recommending to our contractors to choose the 0.8% option.  We believe this to be the most efficient way to include the cost of PEL into your bids, and therefore provide you with the ability to recoup some or all of those costs; as well as to monitor the administration of the PEL, which could become a very time consuming process with the amount of transient workers and the possible number of PEL days that you may have to track and pay.

The choice of whether you choose to pay the two PEL days or the 0.8% option is completely up to each individual contractor.  There is no legal requirement for you to choose TTMGO’s recommendation of the 0.8%.  However, it would make things more efficient on the administration side if everyone is paying the same rate.  It will also (hopefully) avoid questions and confusion for both payroll and monthly remittances. 

Note – The requirement to pay, and be compliant to, PEL is one of the Employment Standards Act and not the union or the collective agreement.  The union cannot dictate whether you pay 0.8% or the 2 paid PEL days.   This is NOT their jurisdiction.  If you do have any issues with the union regarding the payment of PEL days or amounts, please contact TTMGO’s office right away.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding our recommendations or Bill 148 issues in general, please contact the TTMGO office.  Please note that we will do our best to answer any questions you may have; however, Bill 148 is still very new and there have not been any legal precedents set as of yet.  Our recommendations and suggestions are, and will be, based on what we believe best reflects the legal requirements.

Sincerely,

  David St.louis 

______________________________________

David St. Louis, Executive Director