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Child Performers

Ontario’s Protecting Child Performers Act, 2015 (PCPA) came into force on February 5, 2016. The purpose of this law is to promote the best interests, protection and well-being of paid child performers working in the live entertainment industry and the recorded entertainment industry.

This fact sheet is intended to provide general information only. Ministry of Labour health and safety inspectors and employment standards officers will apply and enforce the PCPA and its regulations based on the facts as they may find them in the workplace. This fact sheet does not affect the enforcement discretion of inspectors or officers in any way.

Legislative requirements

To what industries does the PCPA apply?

The PCPA applies to the following two industries:

  • The live entertainment industry – the performing arts industry that provides live entertainment in theatre, dance, music, opera or circus; and
  • The recorded entertainment industry – the industry of producing visual or audio-visual recorded entertainment that is intended to be replayed in cinemas, on the internet, on the radio, as part of a television broadcast or on a VCR, DVD player or similar device, and includes the industry of producing commercials.

To whom does the PCPA apply?

The PCPA requirements apply to:

  • Child performers;
  • Employers of child performers; and
  • Parents and guardians of child performers.

The requirements that apply will depend on the age of the child performer, and whether the child performer is in the live entertainment industry or the recorded entertainment industry.

The PCPA sets out certain minimum requirements for employing or contracting for the services of child performers in Ontario. Topics include:

  • Disclosure requirements
  • Hours of work
  • Breaks
  • Overtime hours
  • Income protection
  • Tutoring
  • Travel
  • Minimum age
  • Adults in the workplace
  • Orientation training
  • Work refusals
  • Healthy food

Hours of work, breaks, overtime hours, income protection and tutoring

Ministry of Labour employment standards officers will investigate claims regarding the above rights and obligations under the PCPA. Please note that in order to file a claim:

  • A claimant must be a child performer under 18 years of age, or a parent or guardian of a child performer under 18 years of age; and
  • The child performer must not be covered by a collective agreement, including but not limited to, the Independent Production Agreement of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists, and Canadian Media Production Association.

To file a claim under the PCPA, please visit the Child Performers Claim Form web page.

Travel, minimum age, adults in the workplace, and work refusals

Child performers also continue to be covered by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations. The main purpose of the OHSA is to protect workers, including child performers, from health and safety hazards on the job.

The Ministry of Labour Health & Safety Contact Centre can refer matters to a Ministry of Labour health and safety inspector where necessary. Call 1-877-202-0008, 1-855-653-9260 (TTY) any time to report critical injuries, fatalities, work refusals. Call 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday for general inquiries about the PCPA and workplace health and safety. Always call 911 in an emergency.

Health and safety resources and tools

For more information on health and safety requirements in the PCPA, please refer to the following guidelines:

Disclaimer: This resource has been prepared to help you understand some of the minimum rights and obligations established under the Protecting Child Performers Act, 2015 (PCPA). It is not legal advice. It is not intended to replace the PCPA or its regulations. Although we endeavor to ensure that the information in this resource is as current and accurate as possible, errors do occasionally occur. For complete information, please refer to the PCPA and its regulations on the Ontario Government e-Laws website. If you require assistance with respect to the interpretation of the legislation or its potential application in specific circumstances, please contact your legal counsel.

The legislation provides minimum requirements only. Some child performers may have greater rights under an employment contract, collective agreement, the common law or other legislation. You may wish to obtain legal advice.