Real estate is a unique profession. Therefore, it is a priority for the Ontario Real Estate Association to maintain REALTORS’® exemption under the Employment Standards Act.
In 2015, the Minister of Labour initiated the Changing Workplaces Review to assess the Employment Standards Act (ESA) given the changing nature of the workforce in Ontario. The review led to the introduction of Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 which passed in November 2017, with many of the changes coming into effect on January 1st, 2018.
The review included an assessment of the current exemptions that exist under the Act. Under the ESA, real estate salespeople and brokers are exempt from certain provisions of the legislation. The exemption means real estate brokerages are not required to pay overtime, vacation or statutory holidays to their real estate salespeople/brokers.
Once the review and legislation was introduced, OREA worked hard with Labour Minister Kevin Flynn and his team to educate them about the real estate profession and the benefits that consumers gain from REALTORS’® ability to work outside the ESA.
Thanks to OREA’s lobbying efforts, the exemption was not reviewed or repealed under the ESA.
“This exemption is critical because it saves brokers thousands of dollars in employment costs for salespeople,” said John Oddi, Chair of OREA’s Government Relations Committee. “The removal of these exemptions would have cause significant disruption and uncertainty in the real estate industry.”