Generally, employers in Ontario must pay employees for training time. However, employers must be aware of the exceptions to this, along with their legal obligations under the Employment Standards Act (ESA). Here’s what employers should know about providing employees with pay for training.

When must employees receive pay for training?

Employees must be paid for training when it is required by the law or by their employer. This includes training while doing the job, shadowing and working a trial shift. For example, an employee may need training because they are new to the job or in order to remain in their position. In these cases, training is considered work time and must be paid as such.

It is important to determine employees’ work time correctly in order to provide them with minimum wage, overtime pay and rest entitlements in accordance with the ESA.

When is training unpaid?

Training that isn’t required by the law or by the employer does not have to be paid because it does not count as work time. For example, an employee might choose to take additional training that is not mandatory to improve their qualifications. Since it is optional and voluntary, the employer does not have to pay the employee.

Still unsure about whether you must pay for training?

Speak with our HR experts to get clarification on your legal obligations as an employer. We can help ensure you pay your employees in a compliance with the law.
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