On November 17, the Legislative Assembly adopted the report of the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs on Bill 148 Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (see amended version) and have ordered it for third reading. The proposed NDP amendment, which would have prevented the WSIB from “deeming” people to be earning higher phantom wages and then cutting their benefits even more, was ruled out of order.
… This was an opportunity to ensure that the increased minimum wage – a measure that ONIWG fully supports and that is meant to protect some of the most vulnerable people in Ontario – would not have the unintended consequence of sending vulnerable injured workers deeper into poverty…” (ONIWG Nov. 20 letter)
The letter from the Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups to the Minister of Labour is a response to that failure. Injured workers urgently need the Minister of Labour to do the right thing before January 1st and take action to ensure injured workers are protected from having their compensation benefits reduced by minimum wage increases. As case examples provided to the Minister’s Office show, in reality the WSIB has already started to deem injured workers at the $14/hr minimum wage… [read full letter]