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Questions about Electronic Agreements

Does the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) now provide for written agreements to be in electronic form?

Yes. Section 1(3.1) was added to the ESA. It states: “The requirement in subsection 3 for an agreement to be in writing is satisfied if the agreement is in electronic form.”

Under program policy, electronic agreements have been considered valid agreements for some time, and the addition of subsection (3.1) to section 1 of the ESA simply codifies current policy.

What criteria does an electronic agreement have to meet in order to be valid?

Although there is no operational change, it’s important to remember that electronic agreements must meet the criteria relating to written agreements. Please refer to ESA-P1-S1(3) of the P&I Manual for information on the criteria for written agreements , and on considerations regarding electronic agreements.

Can an electronic agreement be used under section 13 of the ESA (deduction from wages)?

No. Section 13 refers to an employee “authorizing” an employer to make a deduction from wages or to “written authorizations,” etc. An authorization is not an agreement; therefore the new provision regarding electronic agreements does not apply to section 13.

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