The Ministry of Labour is making improvements to the Employment Standards program to help employers understand the rules and employees understand their rights. These improvements will mean that claims are resolved faster and more efficiently.
The changes to the claim filing process came into effect on January 19, 2011.
The ministry has created a new “Claim Kit” for you to use when filing a claim submission. The Claim Kit includes:
Two “how-to” videos on the new claim filing process are posted on the Ministry of Labour’s website. These videos are available in multiple languages. You can seek assistance, in 23 identified multiple languages, to help you understand and assert your rights under the Employment Standards Act, 2000, by calling the Employment Standards Call Centre at 416-326-7160 or 1-800-531-5551.
As of January 19, 2011, you must use the new version of the Claim Form to file a claim submission. If you filed using the old version, the Ministry of Labour will contact you.
In order to help us process your claim submission faster, we require certain information. This information is marked with an asterisk in the Claim Form. If these areas are not filled out completely, the missing information may cause a delay in processing your claim submission. In some cases, your claim submission may be returned so that you can give us the missing information.
An investigation cannot start until all the required information is provided. The Ministry of Labour will try to contact you if certain information is missing. If you do not know the answer to a question with an asterisk, you must write “unknown.” If the question does not apply to your situation, you must write “not applicable” or “N/A.”
The questions marked by an asterisk (*) indicate the mandatory information we need you to tell us on the form. This information includes your contact information and contact information for your employer, and basic details about your claim. Without this information, your claim cannot be investigated.
You are generally required to try to contact your employer about any issue related to your employment standards before your claim will be investigated. You can contact your employer in a variety of ways including; by telephone, in writing or in person. Issues can often be resolved quickly with this approach. Using the tools provided in the Claim Kit mentioned above may make this process easier.
You can request an exemption from the requirement to contact your employer by checking the appropriate box on the Claim Form that lists good reasons for an exemption (e.g. If you are afraid to contact your employer or you are a young worker). You can also tell us in your own words why you did not contact your employer. If you contacted your employer but he or she refused to help, you do not have to contact your employer again.
On the Claim Form an employee can request an exemption from the requirement to contact his or her employer. The Claim Form provides a list of possible acceptable reasons for doing so, including a language barrier, fear to do so and employer closure or bankruptcy. There are also possible exemptions for certain employees such as live-in caregivers and young employees. The Claim Form will also allow employees to give an explanation of other reasons which they believe should be considered for exemption.
You should keep your documents until the ministry asks you to send them in. Once asked, it is important that you only send in photocopies of these documents. Please keep originals for your own records.
If you do not have any documents to support your claim submission, you will have the opportunity to tell us on the Claim Form. You do not need to have supporting documents to file a claim submission.
The Claim Form has changed and new resources are available to you, but the methods for filing claim submissions are still the same.
Individuals can file a claim submission:
Provincial Claims Centre
Ministry of Labour
70 Foster Drive, Suite 410
Roberta Bondar Place
Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 6V4
Note: If you file your claim submission by fax, in person, or by mail, you will receive a letter in the mail with your claim number once all of your required information has been verified. If your claim submission is missing required information, you will receive a letter in the mail with your claim submission number and a request to provide the information.
A claim submission number is assigned as soon as the ministry receives and registers your Claim Form. You will be provided with a claim number and your claim will be assigned for investigation once the ministry has verified that all required information has been completed.
Once your claim submission has been filed, it will be reviewed to ensure that all the required information has been provided. If the claim submission includes all required information, you will receive a letter in the mail with your claim number, and your claim will be assigned to an employment standards officer for investigation. If the claim submission is missing required information, you will be contacted by the ministry. The claim will not be assigned for investigation unless the required information is provided within the 6 months after filing the claim submission.
An employment standards officer will contact you once he or she starts the investigation. You may be required to provide information and certain documents (if you have them). The officer will also contact your employer about the claim, who will also have an opportunity to submit documents and provide information to support their position.
You may be able to resolve your claim voluntarily by entering into a settlement of the claim with your employer. A settlement can be made at any time after you file your claim. You do not have to wait for the employment standards officer to contact your employer in order to settle your claim.
Once the officer has contacted both the employee and the employer, and has reviewed all relevant information, the officer will make a decision regarding the claim.
A settlement is an agreement made between you and your employer that will resolve your claim. Section 112 of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 allows claimants and employers to resolve a claim through a settlement. A settlement is one way to resolve a claim after the claim has been filed. If a settlement is made, the claim is considered to be withdrawn as long as:
At this point, any investigation relating to that claim will stop. You are not required to try to resolve your claim by entering into a settlement with your employer.
If you have questions, please contact the Employment Standards Information Centre at 416-326-7160 (toll-free at 1-800-531-5551) or, for the hearing impaired, at TTY 1-866-567-8893.
This information is provided as a public service. Although we endeavour to ensure that the information is as current and accurate as possible, errors do occasionally occur. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information. Readers should, where possible, verify the information before acting on it.