Businesses and Complying with the Ontario Ministry of Labour

Peninsula Team

June 27 2019

Ontario’s Ministry of Labour establishes the labour laws businesses need to comply with in the Employment Standards Act (ESA). The ESA outlines both employer obligations and employee rights. The Ministry of Labour has many requirements of employers, but here are a few key responsibilities all Ontario businesses should be aware of.  

Hours of Work 

The number of hours employers can require employees to work in a day and a week is determined within the ESA. Typically, the maximum number of hours an employee can work is eight hours a day and 48 hours a week. The Ministry of Labour also specifies the rules for break times, overtime and agreements for exceeding hours of work.  

Public Holidays

Ontario has nine annual public holidays during which most employees are entitled to have the day off work. Employers are responsible for providing employees with accurately calculated public holiday pay for these days. There are also some additional holidays that are not recognized as public holidays by Ontario’s Ministry of Labour but that many employers give off.  

Vacation Time and Pay

Employers are required to provide employees with a certain number of vacation days. Most employees are entitled to at least two weeks of paid vacation each year. The instruction for calculating vacation pay are outlined in the ESA and employers are responsible for providing the necessary vacation time with accurate pay.  

Leave of Absence

The Ministry of Labour acknowledges that employees may have to take a leave of absence for reasons other than vacation. Under the ESA, eligible employees are entitled to take several job-protected leaves from work. This includes maternity and parental leave, bereavement leave and sick leave.  

Termination Notice and Pay

If an employer wishes to terminate employment, an employee is generally entitled to a written termination notice, termination pay instead of notice, or both. The ESA provides guidelines on how to legally terminate employment and give correct compensation.   Keeping track of all the laws of the Ministry of Labour can be time consuming and complicated. If you are feeling overwhelmed or want to make sure your business is on track, contact us today!

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