Canadian Pizza Magazine

Proposed changes to Ontario labour law would halt pay deductions for dining and dashing and unpaid trial shifts

By Canadian Pizza   

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Toronto – The Ontario government is introducing legislation that, if passed, would put in place protections for employees in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

The Working for Workers Four Act, 2023, includes updates to the province’s Employment Standards Act, which would ban unpaid trial shifts and make clear that employers can never deduct an employee’s wages in the event of a dine and dash, gas and dash, or any other stolen property.

Studies have shown as many as one in 20 diners has left a restaurant without paying, while gas thefts cost Ontario businesses over $3 million in 2022, the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development said in a news release. While Ontario’s laws generally require employees to be paid for all hours worked and prohibit pay deductions, unpaid trial shifts and punitive deductions are still common in the restaurant and service industries.

The government is also proposing changes that would require employers to post in the workplace if they have a policy of sharing in pooled tips – something that is only allowed if they perform the same work as their staff. This would help ensure service workers are paid what they are owed, and that they understand how their tips are calculated and distributed.


The proposed changes would also require employers who pay tips using direct deposit to allow their employees to select the account tips are to be deposited into. This would help workers avoid fees they didn’t agree to so they may access their tips in full when needed.

Also included in the Working for Workers Four Act, 2023, are proposed changes to promote salary transparency and privacy in the workplace, increase benefits for injured workers and firefighters and supports for newcomers.

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