Your Guide to the Employment Standards Act

Your Guide to the Employment Standards Act
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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.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Posting Information: Rights and Obligations
  • Record Keeping
  • Payment of Wages
  • Minimum Wage
  • Hours of Work
  • Overtime
  • Vacation
  • Public Holidays
  • Retail Workers
  • Benefit Plans
  • Pregnancy and Parental Leave
  • Personal Emergency Leave
  • Family Caregiver Leave
  • Family Medical Leave
  • Critically Ill Child Care Leave
  • Organ Donor Leave
  • Reservist Leave
  • Crime-Related Child Death or Disappearance Leave
  • Termination of Employment
  • Severance Pay
  • Continuity of Employment
  • Building Services Providers
  • Equal Pay for Equal Work
  • Lie Detector Tests
  • Reprisals
  • Temporary Help Agencies
  • Industries and Jobs with ESA Exemptions and/or Special Rules
  • Filing an Employment Standards Claim
  • Role of the Ministry of Labour
  • Additional Information
  • Need Help or More Information?

This guide provides information about the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and regulations. The information is current as of its copyright date. This guide revises the information contained in all previous versions.

The Ministry of Labour reserves the right to revise this information without advance notice. Revisions will be included in the next guide update. In addition, new information, as it becomes available, will be posted on the Ministry’s website at

The guide is for your information and convenience only. It is not a legal document. For further information and exact wording, please see the ESA and regulations. A Policy and Interpretation Manual is also available for those who wish to have more detailed information about the application of the ESA. To order, call Carswell at 1-800-387-5164 or email

If you have any questions about the ESA or are concerned that the ESA is not being complied with, please call the Employment Standards Information Centre at 1-800-531-5551 to discuss a particular situation or for information on how to file a complaint.

This guide uses examples to help provide a better understanding of the ESA. All personal and business names, characters, places and incidents used in these examples are fictitious.

Revised: February 20, 2015


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