126 King Street West - Unit 1 Stoney Creek, ON L8G 0A9   t: 905-662-9437   tracy@fiscalperformance.com

If you are an employer OR an employee here in Ontario, this one likely applies to you. There are very few exceptions. The Employment Standards Act is set up by the provincial government and provides the minimum standards for employees in the workplace.  It also outlines the rights and responsibilities for both employees and employers in most workplaces. As I said, the act sets out the minimum standards. Employers can offer more but they cannot offer less.

Typical provisions in the act include:

  • Hours of work, eating periods and rest periods
  • Payment of wages and overtime pay
  • Minimum wages
  • Employee leave of all kinds including pregnancy, emergency, medical, etc.
  • Public holidays and vacation entitlement
  • Termination and severance of employment
  • Equal pay for equal work

This list is by no means complete and I advise you to go to the government website here.  It also includes the list of employees not covered by the act.

There is a poster prepared by the Ministry of Labour which highlights the main points of the act. This poster is free and provided on request. Employers are no longer required to display the poster, but it must be provided to employees who are covered by the ESA within 30 days of their date of hire. If you decide to also display it, some good locations include lunch rooms or employee entrance doors and hallways as these are typical examples of places where it will be regularly seen. Page size copies may be provided to employees and can be downloaded as PDF’s for printing from here.

Posters are typically displayed and distributed in English although they are available in a number of languages. They should also be handed out or posted in the majority language of the workplace.