Table of Contents | Print This Page

Record Keeping

  • Issued: September 2010
  • Content last reviewed: January 2018

This workbook has been prepared to assist employers and employees in understanding some of their obligations and rights under the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and its regulations. It does not take the place of the ESA and its regulations and it should not be considered to offer any legal advice on your particular situation.

Employers must keep certain records concerning employees. There are many forms to help businesses in this area. (For example, refer to the Canadian Payroll Association)

The Employment Standards Act (ESA) requires that employers keep written records about each employee for a certain time period. Records can either be kept by the employer or someone authorized to keep them on the employer’s behalf (for example, an accountant or a payroll company). Regardless, these records have to be readily available for a Ministry of Labour employment standards officer.

Other chapters of this workbook often include a records checklist for the particular standard being discussed. Below is a list of record keeping rules:

Specific Rules

  1. Records of each employee’s name, address and employment start date must be kept for three years after the employment ends.
  2. The date of birth of any students under 18 must be recorded and kept until they turn 21 or for three years after their employment ends, whichever happens first.
  3. The number of hours worked and the times that non-salaried employees worked each day and each week must be recorded. In the case of salaried employees, (i.e., those who are paid a fixed amount for each pay period, which doesn’t vary with hours worked, unless more than 44 hours are worked in a week), employers must record the hours worked in excess of their regular work week, and those in excess of eight hours a day (or the employee’s regular work day).
  4. If the employee has two or more regular rates of pay, and the employee performed work for the employer in excess of the overtime threshold, the dates and times the employee worked in excess of the overtime threshold and the rate of pay for each overtime hour worked, must be recorded. These records must be kept for three years.
  5. An employer must keep all documents relating to an employee’s leave (e.g., pregnancy, parental, personal emergency, declared emergency, family caregiver, family medical, critical illness, child care, organ donor, reservist, or crime-related child disappearance leave, child death, domestic or sexual violence leave) for three years after the day the leave has expired.
  6. The employer must keep records of the vacation pay paid to the employee during the vacation entitlement year (or stub period, if any) and how that vacation pay was calculated. The employer must also keep records of the vacation pay earned by the employee during the vacation entitlement year and how the amount was calculated. These records must be kept for five years.
  7. The employer must keep records of the vacation pay paid to the employee during the vacation entitlement year (or stub period, if any) and how that vacation pay was calculated. The employer must also keep records of the vacation pay earned by the employee during the vacation entitlement year and how the amount was calculated. These records must be kept for five years.
  8. If a day is substituted for a public holiday, the employer must provide the employee with a written statement identifying the public holiday which is being substituted, the date of the day that is substituted for the holiday, and the date on which the statement is provided to the employee. The employer must retain a record of the information for three years.

Record Keeping Checklist

Employers, please verify that:

  • Your records are kept in a manner that follows the specific rules described above.

Employees:

  • While it is the employer’s responsibility to keep records, it may also be beneficial for employees to keep a daily record of hours worked.

Previous | Next

Questions? Call the Employment Standards Call Centre at 1-800-531-5551

Please complete our survey.