These are the general rules in Ontario about hours of work and overtime pay.
There are exceptions and special rules for some employees under the Employment Standards Act, 2000. For more information, contact the Ministry of Labour toll-free at 1-800-531-5551.
You do not have to work more than:
If you choose to, you can agree with your employer in writing to work more hours. If you do not want to work more hours, you do not have to sign an agreement.
You do not have to work more than 48 hours a week.
If you choose to, you can agree with your employer in writing to work more hours.
If you sign an agreement, your employer must also get approval from the Ministry of Labour's Director of Employment Standards. If you do not want to work more hours, you do not have to sign an agreement.
If you agree in writing to work more than:
You cannot work more than the number of hours approved by the Director. This may be fewer than the number of hours you agreed to work.
Your employer must post the application for the Director's approval where you can see it. If and when your employer gets approval from the Director, the approval form must then be posted where you can see it.
You can cancel an agreement to work excess daily or weekly hours by giving your employer two weeks' written notice. Your employer can also cancel an agreement by giving you reasonable notice.
For every hour you work over 44 hours a week, your employer must pay you at least 1½ times your regular rate of pay ("time and a half"). Even if you agree in writing to work more than 48 hours a week, your employer must pay you overtime pay for every hour you work over 44 hours a week.
You can agree with your employer in writing to average the hours you work over periods of two or more weeks to calculate overtime pay. If you sign an agreement, your employer must also get approval from the Ministry of Labour's Director of Employment Standards. If you do not want to have your overtime hours averaged, you do not have to sign an agreement.
These agreements must have an expiry date and cannot be cancelled unless both you and your employer agree.
Generally, if you are represented by a union, your union would make agreements with your employer on your behalf.
Your employer must give you at least:
You must also get a 30-minute eating period after no more than five hours of work. You can agree with your employer to split this eating period into two shorter breaks.
Your employer cannot intimidate you, fire you, suspend you, reduce your pay, punish you in any way or threaten any of these actions because you:
If this happens, contact the Ministry of Labour. Ministry staff can help you understand your rights, answer your questions and investigate your complaint.
Note: If you are represented by a union and you think your rights have been violated, you should talk to your union representative before contacting the Ministry of Labour.
Disclaimer: This resource has been prepared to help employees and employers understand some of the minimum rights and obligations established under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and regulations. It is not legal advice. It is not intended to replace the ESA or regulations and reference should always be made to the official version of the legislation. Although we endeavor to ensure that the information in this resource is as current and accurate as possible, errors do occasionally occur. The ESA provides minimum standards only. Some employees may have greater rights under an employment contract, collective agreement, the common law or other legislation. Employers and employees may wish to obtain legal advice.