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Know your rights and obligations under the Employment Standards Act (ESA). The following information describes the rules about minimum wagehours of work limitstermination of employmentpublic holidayspregnancy and parental leaveseverance payvacation and more.

The information provided on this page is to be used as a convenient source of information about key sections of the ESA ONLY. It is for your information and assistance only. It is not a legal document. If you need details or exact language, please refer to the ESA itself and its regulations which can be found here. 

This guide should not be used as or considered legal advice. You may have greater rights under an employment contract, collective agreement, the common law or other legislation. If you’re unsure about anything in this guide, please talk to a lawyer.

Recent & Upcoming Changes

 

Written policy on electronic monitoring: 

Employers that employ 25 or more employees on January 1 of any year must have a written policy on electronic monitoring in place by March 1 of that year. The employer must, within the specified timeframes, provide a copy of the policy to its employees and to assignment employees who are assigned to perform work for that employer.

A transitional provision establishes that employers that meet the 25-employee threshold on January 1, 2022 have until October 11, 2022 to meet the new requirement to have a written policy in place.

The policy must state whether the employer electronically monitors employees. If the employer does, the policy must include:

  • a description of how, and in what circumstances, the employer may electronically monitor employees

  • the purposes for which the employer may use the information obtained through electronic monitoring

  • the date it was prepared and the date any changes were made to the policy

The new requirement for a written policy requires employers to be transparent by providing employees with certain information about electronic monitoring. It does not:

  • establish a right for employees not to be electronically monitored by their employer

  • create any new privacy rights for employees

Information about the new requirement will be published soon in Your Guide to the ESA.

 

Read the new legislation: Bill 88, Working for Workers Act, 2022.

Written policy on disconnecting from work: 

Employers that employ 25 or more employees on January 1 of any year must have a written policy on disconnecting from work in place by March 1 of that year. They must provide a copy of that policy to employees. Disconnecting from work is defined in the ESA. A transitional provision establishes that employers that meet the 25-employee threshold on January 1, 2022 have until June 2, 2022 to meet the new requirement to have a written policy in place.

Non-compete agreements prohibited 

Employers are prohibited (with some exceptions), from entering into a non-compete agreement with an employee. Non-compete agreement is defined in the ESA. This prohibition does not apply to non-compete agreements entered into before October 25, 2021.

Topics Covered by the Employment Standards Act

 

Mandatory Poster & Information Sheets for Employers

In certain circumstances, employers and recruiters are legally required to give employees one or more, mandatory, Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development posters and documents. 

Workplaces covered by the Employment Standards Act

All workplaces covered by the Employment Standards Act must distribute an employment standards poster to all employees. Employers are no longer required to post it in the workplace. Learn more about this requirement or download the employment standards poster

Workplaces covered by the Occupational Health and Safety Act

All workplaces covered by the Occupational Health and Safety Act must put up:

If your workplace has more than 5 regularly employed workers you must also prepare, maintain and post health and safety, workplace violence and workplace harassment policies every year.

Find out if your workplace is covered by OHSA

Workplaces covered by the Occupational Health and Safety Act

All workplaces covered by the Occupational Health and Safety Act must put up:

If your workplace has more than 5 regularly employed workers you must also prepare, maintain and post health and safety, workplace violence and workplace harassment policies every year

Find out if your workplace is covered by OHSA

 

Other Workplace Related Laws

The ESA contains only some of the rules affecting work in Ontario. 

 

Other provincial and federal legislation governs issues such as workplace health and safety, human rights and labour relations.

Related Ontario laws include the: