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Frequently Asked Questions about the New Claim Filing Process

Why did the Ministry of Labour change the claim filing process?

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.

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When did the changes to the claim filing process come into effect?

The changes to the claim filing process came into effect on January 19, 2011.

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What resources are available to me when filing a claim submission?

The ministry has created a new “Claim Kit” for you to use when filing a claim submission. The Claim Kit includes:

  • A “Before You Start” booklet that explains important information about the claim filing process;
  • Improved worksheets that help you figure out how much money you may be owed;
  • New tools you can use to contact your employer to try resolve the issue without waiting for your claim to be investigated;
  • A new-and-improved E-Claim and Claim Form; and
  • A user-friendly interactive Claim Guide.

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.

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What if I submitted my claim using the old form after January 19, 2011?

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.

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Why is there an asterisk (*) beside some questions in the Claim Form?

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.”

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Why is some information mandatory?

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.

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Why does the Claim Form ask if I contacted my employer before my claim will 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.

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What are considered good reasons for not contacting my employer?

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.

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What do I do with the documents I have that support my claim submission?

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.

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What do I do if I don’t have any documents to support my claim submission?

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.

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How do I file my 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:

  • Online at: www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/forms/claim.php. You will receive your claim submission number immediately.
  • By fax at 1-888-252-4684.
  • In person at a ServiceOntario Centre (1-800-267-8097).
  • By mail to:

    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.

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What is the difference between a claim submission number and a claim number?

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.

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What can I expect after I have filed my claim submission?

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.

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What is a settlement?

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:

  • both the claimant and employer do what they say they are going to do under the terms of the settlement, and
  • an employment standards officer is advised of the terms of the settlement in writing.

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.

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Who can I contact if I have questions about the new claim submission process?

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.