Young workers often can’t recognize health and safety hazards and may hesitate to ask questions. This can lead to serious injury or even death.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) sets out the rights and duties of all parties in the workplace. It establishes procedures for dealing with workplace hazards and it provides for enforcement of the law where compliance has not been achieved voluntarily.
Talk to your young son or daughter about job safety. Make sure he or she knows it’s OK to say “No!” to unsafe work — and that you will support that decision.
It's your job to ask about their safety at work.
The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) sets minimum standards for things like pay, work hours and time off. Most workplaces in Ontario must follow this law and your kids’ rights are the same whether they work full-time or part-time. For detailed information on Employment Standards in Ontario, visit Your Guide to the Employment Standards Act, 2000.
Your son or daughter should expect a regular pay day and a pay stub that is clear. Make sure he or she keeps a record of hours worked.
Some employers require staff to pay for their uniforms. Deductions from wages to pay for a uniform may be made only if the employee agrees in writing to have a specified amount deducted.
If a customer leaves without paying or your son or daughter’s error costs their employer money, that amount cannot be deducted from his or her wages.
Employers cannot withhold tips and other gratuities from employees or make deductions from their employees’ tips to cover things like spillage, breakage, losses or damage, etc. However, employers can make deductions from employees’ tips and other gratuities if it is authorized by statute or a court order, or if the amount will be distributed to other employees as part of a tip pool.
The Employment Standards Poster describes important rights and requirements under the Employment Standards Act, 2000. The poster must be posted in the workplace where it is likely that employees will see it. Employers are also required to give every employee a copy of the poster.
Time spent in training that is required by the employer or by law counts as work time. If your son or daughter has to transport materials from the workplace to another job site, that is work time, too.
If your son or daughter works in a hotel, motel, tourist resort, restaurant, tavern, hospital or an establishment with continuous operations, he or she may be required to work on a public holiday and would be entitled to premium pay for working that day.
Some jobs have special standards or exemptions. To learn more, try our Special Rule Tool.
Vacation pay is at least 4% of wages (excluding vacation pay). Any vacation pay not already paid is owed to your son or daughter when his or her employment ends.
Temporary employees generally have the same rights as other employees under the ESA.
It's your job to see if they are being treated fairly.
Disclaimer: This resource has been prepared to help you understand some of the rights and obligations established under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). It is not legal advice. It is not intended to replace the ESA, OHSA or their 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.