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Industries and Jobs with Exemptions or Special Rules

  • Content last reviewed: October 2011
Employees and Employers using the Special Rule Tool

While most employees and employers in Ontario are covered by the ESA, there are some employees to whom it does not apply.* There are also some employees who are covered by the ESA generally but who are exempted from (not covered by) certain parts of it. And there are some other employees who are covered by special rules that change how certain parts of the ESA apply.

The following Special Rule Tool can tell you about employees who are not covered by certain parts of the ESA or who are covered by special rules that change how some parts apply. But please note—this is not law but a quick reference tool that is provided for your convenience. For the law, you must refer to the ESA itself and to the regulations made under it. (The Guide to the ESA is another convenient aid that is not itself law but that can help you to understand the law).

Please Select the Industry or Occupation

To use the Tool, select one of the industry icons—then choose the job category that best describes your job (if you’re an employee) or your employee’s job (if you’re an employer). (Jobs to which no exemptions or special rules apply are not mentioned).


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.

* People to whom the ESA does not apply include the following:

  • Employees of employers that fall under federal employment law jurisdiction, such as airlines, banks, the federal civil service, post offices, radio and television stations and inter-provincial railways
  • People performing work under a program approved by a college of applied arts and technology or university
  • Secondary school students who perform work under a program authorized by the school board that operates the school in which the student is enrolled
  • People who do community participation under the Ontario Works Act, 1997
  • Police officers (except for the Lie Detectors part of the ESA, which does apply)
  • Inmates taking part in work or rehabilitation programs, or young offenders who perform work as part of a sentence or order of a court
  • People who hold political, judicial, religious or elected trade union offices.

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Employment Standards Information Centre
416-326-7160 (Greater Toronto Area) 
1-800-531-5551 (toll free Canada-wide) 
1-866-567-8893 (TTY for hearing impaired)