Employment Standards

The Employment Standards Act, 2000 was recently amended to include an unpaid, job-protected infectious disease emergency leave. This leave is available to employees who are not performing the duties of their position for certain reasons related to COVID-19, including:

  • personal illness, quarantine or isolation in specified circumstances
  • concern by the employer that the employee may expose other individuals in the workplace to COVID-19
  • to provide care or support to certain family members for a reason related to COVID-19, including school or day care closures
  • due to certain travel-related restrictions

In addition, Ontario declared an emergency due to COVID-19 on March 17, 2020. During a declared emergency, an employee may have the right to take an unpaid, job protected leave if the employee will not be performing the duties of his or her position because of the emergency and because certain circumstances apply.  More information will be available soon in Your Guide to the ESA.

Due to orders that have been issued under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, the minimum standards under the ESA that are described in this Guide may apply differently to certain employees during the declared COVID-19 emergency. You can find the orders by visiting the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act online and selecting the “Regulations Under This Act” tab.


The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development enforces and promotes awareness of employment standards, such as minimum wage, hours of work, public holidays and other standards. Explore this website to learn more about employee rights and employer obligations in Ontario.

File a Claim

Employees who believe their employer is not complying with Ontario's employment standards can file a claim with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

Tools and Calculators

Our tools and calculators can help employers and employees understand and calculate entitlements for public holiday pay, termination pay, hours of work, overtime and more.

For Employers

Employers and/or recruiters are legally required to provide employees with copies of these documents in certain circumstances.

For more information on employment standards and how they work, consult Your Guide to the ESA, 2000.

Public Holidays

  • New Year's Day: January 1, 2020
  • Family Day: February 17, 2020
  • Good Friday: April 10, 2020
  • Victoria Day: May 18, 2020
  • Canada Day: July 1, 2020
  • Labour Day: September 7, 2020
  • Thanksgiving Day: October 12, 2020
  • Christmas Day: December 25, 2020
  • Boxing Day: December 26, 2020

Learn more about public holidays or calculate your public holiday pay.