Changes Coming to Minimum Pay for On Call Work
Unpredictable workflow can make scheduling a challenge. One common tool employers use to address this challenge is on-call staff: an employee remains available to be called in to work and must work if called.
The concept of on-call work is not itself problematic. Many jobs lend themselves to an on-call arrangement. Electricians, plumbers, IT professionals, doctors, and nurses are just a few examples. However, while holding oneself on standby may not be particularly onerous it is, as the Supreme Court of Canada recently noted “a period of time during which the employer exercises a degree of control over the movements and activities of [an employee].
This exercise of control benefits the employer, who might otherwise have to employ [other employees] to work [after hours] to ensure a timely response to urgent [matters]”. To address this, Bill 148 will amend the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) to require compensation for an on-call employee even if the employee is not called in to work.