See also: The Changing Workplaces Review
This section gives a brief overview not only of the present Act, the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), but also of its evolution.
The Act sets out minimum rights and responsibilities that apply to employees and employers in most Ontario workplaces in such areas as:
Employers and employees cannot contract out of, or waive, minimum standards under the ESA. Any such agreements are null and void. Employers can, however, offer greater rights or benefits than the ESA’s minimum standards. If a provision in an agreement gives an employee a greater right or benefit than a minimum employment standard under the ESA, that provision applies to the employee instead of the employment standard.
As set out in section 5.2, a central feature of the Act and regulations is a complex web of more than 85 exemptions, partial exemptions, qualifying conditions, etc., which limit its application.