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Employment Standards in Ontario

  • Content last reviewed: January 2018
  • PDF Version [172 Kb]
  • This document is available in other languages
  • Please note that it is the poster as it appears in PDF format that must be posted in the workplace.
  • For your convenience, an HTML copy provided.
  • See also: Employment Standards Poster

The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) protects employees and sets minimum standards for most workplaces in Ontario.

Employers are prohibited from penalizing employees in any way for exercising their ESA rights.

What you need to know

Minimum wage

Most employees are entitled to be paid at least the minimum wage. For current rates visit:

Hours of work and overtime

There are daily and weekly limits on hours of work, and rules around meal breaks, rest periods and overtime.

Public holidays

Ontario has a number of public holidays each year. Most employees are entitled to take these days off work and be paid public holiday pay

Vacation time and pay

Most employees earn vacation time after every 12 months of work. There are rules around the amount of vacation pay an employee earns.

Termination notice and pay

In most cases, employers must give advance written notice when terminating employment and/or termination pay instead of notice.

Leaves of absence

There are a number of jobprotected leaves of absence in Ontario. Examples include pregnancy, parental, family caregiver, personal emergency leave (paid and unpaid) and sexual and/or domestic violence leave (paid and unpaid).

Other employment rights, exemptions and special rules

There are other rights, exemptions and special rules not listed on this poster including rights to severance pay and special rules for assignment employees of temporary help agencies. Subscribe to stay up-to-date on the latest news that can affect you and your workplace:

Learn more about your rights at:

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