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Blitz Results: Retail Services

The Employment Standards Retail Services Blitz that started on October 1, 2013 and ended December 31, 2013, was the third Employment Standards blitz conducted by the Ministry of Labour.

The ministry decided to focus on this sector as it often employs young, entry-level and part-time workers who may be at greater risk of having their rights violated, and who may lack the ability or resources to understand their rights and have them respected.

The purpose of the blitz was to promote compliance with the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) in the retail sector, as well as to educate employers and provide them with information materials. Examples of retail services businesses visited during the blitz include:

  • gas stations
  • convenience stores
  • grocery stores
  • outlet stores
  • stores located in shopping malls and strip malls

The employment standards that were focused on were public holiday pay, vacation pay, hours of work, overtime and the Employment Standards Poster.


118 inspections were completed:

  • 24 employers were compliant and no violations were found.
  • 256 compliance "tools" (e.g., Compliance Order, Part 1 Tickets, Order to Pay Wages, etc.) were issued.
  • More than 99 per cent of the monies owing to employees assessed during the blitz were paid voluntarily by the employer.
  • Over $240,000 was recovered for employees.
  • The most common monetary violation was for public holiday pay.
  • The most common non-monetary violations were for:
    • Excess hours worked without an approval from the Director of Employment Standards and/or agreement in writing from the employee
    • Vacation pay being paid on each paycheque without written agreement of an employee
    • Record keeping

Compliance enforcement summary

An employment standards officer can issue a non-monetary Compliance Order if the officer finds that the employer has not complied with the ESA. The officer can order an employer or other person to comply with the ESA.

  • 215 Compliance Orders were issued.

An employment standards officer may also issue an Offence Notice (or "ticket") under Part I of the Provincial Offences Act, carrying a fine of $295 plus a victim fine surcharge.

  • 40 Part 1 Tickets were issued.

Where monetary violations are found and voluntary compliance was not achieved, an offer issues an Order to Pay Wages.

  • 1 Order to Pay Wages was issued.