Employment Standards

Employment Standards Act of Ontario


Your Rights and Responsibilities at Work


Whether you work for somebody else or end up  hiring other people to work for you, it is important to know what rules that govern the workplace in order to protect your rights and the rights of others.


The employment standards act is the provincial law that contains Ontario’s basic rules (minimum standards) about employing people. Employees and employers both have rights and responsibilities under the Act.


The Employment Standards Act covers many aspects of work. Some aspects include:


-          Hours of work and paid time off

-          Wages (including minimum wage) pregnancy and parental leave

-          Termination and layoffs

-          Vacation pay

-          Breaks and eating periods

-          Overtime

-          Public holidays

-          The role of the Ministry of Labour


In addition, there are other laws that apply to the workplace. These include federal laws, the Ontario Human rights code, and other provincial laws. The employment Standards Act sets minimum standards that must be observed in all Ontario workplace it governs. Your job may also be governed by a contract or collective freemen between the employee’s union and the employer. Such a contract would give additional specific rules on wages and working condition that are at least equal to or better than the rules in the Act.