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Record Keeping

  • ISBN: 978-1-4606-1988-9 (HTML)
  • ISBN: 978-1-4606-1987-2 (Print)
  • ISBN: 978-1-4606-1989-6 (PDF)
  • Revised: January 2009
  • Content last reviewed: May 2013
  • PDF VersionPDF [ 1.39 Mb / 200 pages | Download Adobe Reader ]

This guide is provided for your information and convenience only. It is not a legal document. For complete information, refer to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and its regulations.

All employers in Ontario are required to keep written records about each person they hire.

These records must be kept by the employer, or by someone else on behalf of the employer, for a certain period of time. The employer must also ensure that the records are readily available for inspection.

Contents and Retention of Employee Records

The employer must record and retain the following information for each employee.

  • The employee's name, address and starting date of employment.
    This must be kept for three years after the employee stopped working for the employer.
  • The employee's date of birth if the employee is a student under 18.
    This must be kept for either three years after the employee's 18th birthday or three years after the employee stopped working for the employer, whichever happens first.
  • The hours worked by the employee each day and week.
    This must be kept for three years after the day or week of work. If an employee receives a fixed salary for each pay period and the salary does not change (except if the employee works overtime) the employer is only required to record:
    • the employee's hours in excess of those hours in the employee's regular work week;
      and
    • the number of hours in excess of eight per day (or in excess of the hours in the employee's regular work day, if it is more than eight hours).

    Employers are not required to record the hours of work for employees who are exempt from overtime pay and the provisions for maximum hours of work.

  • Retention of written agreements to work excess hours or average overtime pay.
    An employer must retain copies of every agreement made with an employee to work excess hours or to average overtime pay for three years after the last day on which work was performed under the agreement.
  • Retention of vacation time records.
    Employers are required to keep records of the vacation time earned since the date of hire but not taken before the start of the vacation entitlement year, the vacation time earned, and vacation time taken (if any) during the vacation entitlement year (or stub period).
  • Retention of vacation pay records.
    The employer must also keep records of the vacation pay paid to the employee during the vacation entitlement year (and stub period, if any) and how that vacation pay was calculated. These records must be made no later than seven days after the start of the next vacation entitlement year (or first vacation entitlement year if the records relate to a stub period) or the first payday after the stub period or vacation entitlement year ends, whichever is later.

    Generally, this information must be kept for three years after the record of vacation time and pay was made.
  • Information contained in an employee's wage statement.
    This must be kept for three years after the information was given to the employee.
  • All the documents relating to an employee's pregnancy, parental, family medical, organ donor, personal emergency, declared emergency, or reservist leave.
    These must be kept for three years after the day the leave expired.
  • Homeworker register.
    Employers who employ "homeworkers" are also required to keep a register containing the name, address and wage rate of the homeworker. This must be kept for three years after the homeworker stopped working for the employer.

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