Employment Standards

Extension of the COVID-19 period

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario government made a regulation that changed certain Employment Standards Act (ESA) rules during the “COVID-19 period”. This regulation has been amended, extending the COVID-19 period to January 2, 2021.

During the COVID-19 period (March 1, 2020 to January 2, 2021):

  • a non-unionized employee whose employer has temporarily reduced or eliminated their hours of work for reasons related to COVID-19 is deemed to be on a job-protected infectious disease emergency leave,
  • a non-unionized employee is not considered to be laid off if their employer temporarily reduces or eliminates their hours of work or wages for reasons related to COVID-19, and
  • a non-unionized employee is not considered to be constructively dismissed under the ESA if their employer temporarily reduces or eliminates their hours of work or wages for reasons related to COVID-19.

Beginning on January 3, 2021:

  • employees will no longer be deemed to be on infectious disease emergency leave
  • the ESA's regular rules around constructive dismissal resume. This means a significant reduction or elimination of an employee’s hours of work or wages may constitute a constructive dismissal, even if it was done for reasons related to COVID-19).
  • the ESA's regular rules around temporary layoff resume. For practical purposes, an employee’s temporary layoff clock re-sets on January 3, 2021.

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.