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Industries and Jobs with ESA Exemptions and/or Special Rules

  • Revised: November 20, 2015
  • Content last reviewed: November 2015

This guide is provided for your information and convenience only. It is not a legal document. For complete information, refer to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and its regulations.

While most employees and employers in Ontario are covered by the Employment Standards Act (ESA), there are some types of occupations:

  • to which the ESA does not apply,
  • that are covered by the ESA generally but exempt from (not covered by) certain parts of it,
  • that are covered by special rules that change how certain parts of the ESA apply.

The Ministry of Labour’s Special Rule Tool (available at can help you understand how the ESA applies to these types of occupations.

The chart below provides:

  • a list of occupations that are not covered by certain parts of the ESA or are covered by special rules, and
  • the Special Rule Tool categories where you can find more information about each of these occupations.

NOTE: This tool does not deal with the special rules applicable to the Women’s Coat and Suit and Women’s Dress and Sportswear industries. For information about those special rules, see O. Reg. 291/01.

For more information about your specific situation, please contact the Employment Standards Information Centre at 416-326-7160, Toll-free 1-800-531-5551 or TTY 1-866-567-8893.

  Explore the Special Rule Tool

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