Employment Standards Act

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For the act in British Columbia, see Employment Standards Act of British Columbia.

The Employment Standards Act is an Act of the Legislature of Ontario.

This Act regulates employment in the province of Ontario, including wages, maximum work hours, and workplace health and safety. It differs from the Ontario Labour Relations Act, which regulates unionized labour in Ontario.

The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) sets and enforces the minimum standards that employers and employees must both follow.


  • Enforce the ESA and its regulations
  • Educate and inform employers and employees and make it simple for people to understand easily and comply voluntarily
  • investigate possible violations
  • resolve complaints

Some small business owners have complained that the ESA treats them as though they were criminals. There are records of employees using the ESA to abuse their employers [1]

The ESA, 2000, touches on[how?]:

  • Continuity of employment
  • Payment of wages
  • Records
  • Hours of work and eating periods
  • Overtime pay
  • Minimum wage [2]
  • Public holidays
  • Vacation with pay
  • Equal pay for equal work
  • Benefits plans
  • Leaves of absence (Pregnancy Leave, Parental leave, Family medical leave, Organ donor leave, Personal emergency leave, Emergency leave, declared emergencies, Reservist leave)
  • Termination and severance of employment
  • Lie detectors
  • Retail business establishments
  • Reprisal
  • Temporary help agencies
  • Building services providers


External links[edit]