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 August 22nd , 2017 
SPOTLIGHT
» 17,300 Hospitality Jobs at Risk According to Independent Economic Impact Analysis

ORHMA continues to hear daily from our members on the negative impact that Bill 148, Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act, 2017 will have on their hospitality business. We are working hard to educate the provincial government on such impacts. The Premier and her Cabinet have denied our ongoing request for an economic impact study – ORHMA together with like minded business associations known as the Keep Ontario Working Coalition (KOW) commissioned and released the first and only independent economic impact analysis of Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act, conducted by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA). The study revealed that if the legislation is implemented as currently drafted by the Wynne government, there will be significant, sudden and sizable uncertainty for Ontario jobs, economy and all communities.

The Keep Ontario Working Coalition’s commissioned analysis by CANCEA concludes that these vast, unprecedented reforms will put about 185,000 jobs at risk (17,300 hospitality jobs), greatly impacting Ontario’s most vulnerable workers:
  • 30,000 of the jobs at risk represent youth under the age 25
  • 96,000 employees at risk are expected to be women
  • Jobs are not the only expected unintended consequences. There is an expected 50 per cent increase to inflation for this year and the foreseeable future, increasing everyday consumer goods and services by $1,300 per household on average each and every year.

CANCEA was commissioned by the KOW coalition to measure the potential impacts of the six key areas of change in Bill 148, including changes to minimum wage, equal pay, vacation, scheduling, personal emergency leave and unionization.  ORHMA will continue to advise on additional components to the economic impact analysis.

ORHMA will continue to update members on advocacy efforts to work with government to:
  • adopt a much longer term plan to reach the $15 per hour minimum wage allowing business ample time to prepare for implementation
  • freeze the liquor server minimum wage to support the industry and support the many workers who deserve better equity. The issue is unique and an improved system is required
  • freeze the student minimum wage rate as this worker segment does not fall under poverty group needs. Those under 18 obtain their entry level job development setting them up for future career paths.

ORHMA’s recommendations to the Provincial Government are available for your review.  News Release and CANCEA presentation are also available for more details. To read more on the Keep Ontario Working Coalition, click here.

GOVERNMENT NEWS 

» ORHMA Does Not Support Bill 148 Amendments Proposed by the NDP

The NDP leader Andrea Horwath released a list of amendments to Bill 148 that the New Democrats will table during the finance committee’s clause-by-clause consideration of the bill next week. Arguing the bill does not go far enough to reform Ontario’s labour laws, Horwath proposed a universal minimum wage that does not have exemptions for workers that serve alcohol. She also wants the reforms to include five days of paid sick days or personal emergency days, as well as five unpaid days, per year. As it stands Bill 148 allows workers up to 10 days of personal emergency leave per year, only two of which would be paid.

The NDP amendments also include extended leave protections for victims of domestic violence and three weeks of paid vacation for all workers (after the first year of employment), up from two weeks.

During the week of August 21, the committee will meet throughout the week for clause-by-clause consideration of the first reading stage of Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act. ORHMA has submitted comments and recommendations for committee to consider. We will continue to keep you updated and advocate on your behalf. For more information, click here.  

» Submit your AODA Compliance Report

All businesses and non-profits with 20 or more employees have to submit accessibility compliance reports by December 31, 2017.   Your report will include questions about the requirements that are currently in effect for your organization, based on your size.  Review your complete list of requirements and compliance deadlines at ontario.ca/accessibility and submit your report at ontario.ca/AccessibilityReport

» Premier, PC Leader and NDP Leader Oppose Request from Municipalities for HST Hike

Premier Wynne addressed Ontario municipality leaders calling for a one per cent dedicated sales tax for municipalities, which was reported by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) it could raise $2.5 billion annually for local infrastructure and services. Wynne said the proposal “flies in the face of what we are trying to do in this province, which is to help people to make ends meet” in an “uncertain time.” She said new sales tax would run counter to her government’s efforts to reduce everyday costs for Ontarians. Calling for further “conversations,” Wynne said she told municipalities last year to identify the “actual gaps” community-by-community that could be filled by new revenue tools, but instead AMO “moved the goal posts” by proposing an HST hike. (PC leader Patrick Brown and NDP leader Andrea Horwath also said they oppose the HST hike). Wynne did signal two places where the province might step in with more municipal assistance: re-uploading the cost of roads and new funding for recreational infrastructure. For more information, click here.

» Public meetings on City of Toronto’s proposed short-term rental rules

The City of Toronto is holding four open houses on the proposed new rules for short-term rentals in Toronto. Details about the open houses are below and are also posted on our website. The input the City receives at these open houses will be used to finalize the short-term rental rules that will be presented to Executive Committee in the fourth quarter of 2017. 

Date

Location

Wednesday, September 6

City Hall, Committee Room 2
100 Queen Street West

Monday, September 11

North York Civic Centre, Council Chambers
5100 Yonge Street

Wednesday, September 13

Etobicoke Civic Centre, Main Boardroom
399 the West Mall

Tuesday, September 19

Scarborough Civic Centre, Committee Room 1
150 Borough Drive, Scarborough

If you would like more information about the proposed new rules for short-term rentals, please see the Executive Committee decision here.

» Federal Proposed Tax Changes on Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s)

The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) is looking to understand the impacts of the newly proposed tax changes on small hotel operators. As an ORHMA member, your hotel property is granted membership with the Hotel Association of Canada.

The proposed rules could have a significant impact on many Canadian hotel businesses: potentially raising taxes, increasing the administrative burden on SMEs and heightening the impact on family-run businesses. 

 A consultation is currently underway with a focus on how “tax-planning strategies involving corporations are being used to gain unfair tax advantages.” The document contains proposed policies to close these “loopholes.” There are four key changes that will affect business:

  • Sprinkling income using private corporations: The government wants to tighten rules to prevent a business owner from unfairly transferring income to family members who are subject to lower personal tax rates. In certain circumstances, owners would have to demonstrate that wages and dividend payments are “reasonable.”
  • Multiplying the Capital Gains Exemption: When an individual sells a small business, the first $850,000 of capital gain is exempt from taxes. The government wants to prevent tax planning structures that enable multiple family members to use their exemptions. 
  • Reducing the tax deferral advantage on portfolio investment inside a corporation: Currently, an owner can accumulate portfolio earnings inside a corporation and pay corporate income tax rates (which are generally much lower than personal rates). The owner defers paying personal income or dividend taxes until the money is taken out of the business. The government is considering alternatives that would reduce this tax advantage.
  • Converting a private corporation’s regular income into capital gains: Income is normally paid out of a private corporation in the form of salary or dividends that are taxed at the owner’s personal income tax rate. In contrast, when a business is sold, it is taxed as a capital gain, where only one-half of capital gains are included in income, resulting in a significantly lower tax rate on income that is converted from dividends to capital gains. The government wants to tighten the rules to prevent certain tax planning structures, but it is open to more favourable treatment for genuine family business transfers.

ORHMA is interested to know if this would impact your business and if HAC’s advocacy on this issue would be beneficial to you and your hotel operation. Our national association is prepared to take a leadership role to participate in the consultation. We will also work with other business groups to ensure alignment on messaging as a united business front can be very powerful. Please contact us at info@orhma.com.

» Bill 148 and Pay Equity: A Changing Landscape and Increasing Scrutiny of Ontario Employers
Hicks Morley

Bill 148 will amend the ESA in two ways that are potentially significant from a pay equity perspective. First, Bill 148 seeks to increase minimum wage to $14.00 per hour on January 1, 2018, and $15.00 per hour on January 1, 2019. These are significant increases, and employers must consider how such increases impact on male comparator job classes under their respective pay equity plans. A legal perspective can be read here.

» Ontario’s Changing Workplaces Review: A Focus on Penalties and Enforcement of Employment and Labour Standards in the Province

Aird Berlis

After more than two years of review, which included twelve public consultation sessions held across Ontario, 200 presentations, 300 written submissions from stakeholders, and an interim assessment, the Ontario government’s long-awaited final report, The Changing Workplaces Review: An Agenda for Workplace Rights (the “Review”), has been released. Read on for recommendations that were made for changes to both employment standards and labour relations legislation in a single document. To read more, click here.

IN THE KNOW - HOSPITALITY NEWS, TRENDS + UPDATES

» Traumatic or Chronic Mental Stress- WSIB Policy

We have written in the past of the upcoming legislation coming into law on Jan 1, 2018. The WSIB has just gone through a consultation process in their development of writing a policy for this legislation which aims in determining if a worker is entitled to benefits for traumatic or chronic mental stress arising out and in the course of the worker’s employment. This is a very active process and much has been happening to be able to have the policy completed. See ORHMA’s response here. ORHMA is bringing this topic to our members ahead of its conclusion for readiness in the workplace.

There are significant differences between Traumatic Mental Stress and Chronic Mental Stress for employers to understand and ensure proper management practices are in place.  Submission can be read here. While Traumatic Mental Stress (currently under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act -WSIA) involves work related events that are generally accepted as traumatic in nature such as impact from robberies and horrific experiences, Chronic Mental Stress involves work related events that are not traumatic in nature and includes such experiences as bullying, harassment, humiliation, demeaning conduct and intimidation by a supervisor.  Chronic Mental Stress can result from one or a series of events and while the policy is being worked on we urge employers to ensure practices in place are followed and followed through and due diligence is a top of mind.   

» Importance of a Hepatitis A Vaccine

While the risk of getting the infection is low, individuals (in order to avoid Hepatitis A) should watch for signs and symptoms and practice thorough hand washing. The Hepatitis A vaccine is most effective when received within 14 days of exposure. Those individuals who may have been exposed more than 14 days ago should watch for signs and symptoms and seek medical attention should any symptoms develop.

Hepatitis A is a virus that can cause liver infection. Symptoms can last a few days to several months. Most people who are infected recover completely. Symptoms can begin 15 to 50 days after becoming infected. It is also possible to be infected and not have any symptoms. For symptomatic individuals, the severity of symptoms can range from mild to severe.  Common symptoms of Hepatitis A include fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea/vomiting, dark urine, stomach pains and jaundice (yellowing of the skin).

Hepatitis A can be avoided by getting the Hepatitis A vaccine, not handling or preparing food if you are ill, and, washing your hands often and thoroughly using soap and warm water. This is especially important after using the washroom, changing a diaper and before preparing or eating food. Always wash fresh fruits and vegetables. If you are travelling, especially outside of North America, be sure the water supply is safe before drinking it and use caution when consuming ice.

If you are concerned that you may have acquired hepatitis A or have questions about getting the vaccine, contact your Public Health at 416-338-7600 or speak with your primary care provider as soon as possible. A fact sheet on hepatitis A is available at http://ow.ly/yUxC30ep9Q6.  

INDUSTRY STATISTICS 


» Ontario Adds 25,500 Jobs in July

Ministry of Economic Development & Growth

Ontario's economy continues to perform strongly, adding 25,500 jobs in July. There was an increase of 17,600 full-time jobs and 7,900 part-time jobs. Employment in Ontario is up 137,900 jobs, year over year. The province's unemployment rate has been below the national average for 28 consecutive months. Read more.

» INDUSTRY EVENTS   

  • ORHMA Windsor Region 19th Annual Golf Tournament – Sunday September 10, 2017 – Fox Glen Golf Course – For more details, click here.   

  • Women in Tourism & Hospitality Conference – Monday September 18, 2017, Park Hyatt Hotel, Toronto – For more details, click here.

  • Yorkville Tour & Networking Reception - Gardiner Museum, 111 Queens Park, Toronto, Tuesday, September 19, 2017 – 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Click here for more details.  

  • The Canadian Coffee and Tea Show - September 24 & 25, 2017 - The Toronto Congress Centre South building - 650 Dixon Road, Toronto –Complimentary Passes for members using promo code ORHMA (1-day education and trade show pass OR a 2-day trade show pass)

  • Complimentary Webinar: Bill 148 – the Overhaul of the Employment Standards Act – September 26, 2017 9:00 am – 10:00 am. Click here for more details.

  • Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) Canada West and Canada East – Featuring a full day of networking and education sessions focused on retail facilities management. Canada West Date: Vancouver, BC - Tuesday October 3, 2017 Time: 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM; Canada East Date: Toronto, ON - Thursday October 19, 2017 Time: 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM. To register, click here. 

  • Complimentary Webinar: Marijuana Legalization – Is your workplace ready? October 24, 2017 9:00 am – 10:00 am. Click  here for more details. 

»  COMPLIMENTARY INDUSTRY SUBSCRIPTIONS