Employment Standards

Changes to ESA rules

Minimum wage

Effective January 1, 2022, minimum wage rates increased and the special minimum wage rate that previously applied to certain “liquor servers” was eliminated. Learn more.

Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit extended to July 31, 2022

On April 29, 2021, the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Benefit came into effect and the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) was amended.  Employers are now required to provide eligible employees with up to three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave because of certain reasons related to COVID-19. Eligible employers must make their application for reimbursement to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board within 120 days of the date the employer paid the employee, or by November 28, 2022, whichever is earlier. Paid infectious disease emergency leave was originally set to end September 25, 2021 and was later extended to December 31, 2021. It will now continue until July 31, 2022.

Temporary ESA rules continue

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario government made a regulation that changed certain Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) rules during the COVID-19 period. The COVID-19 period has been extended. The temporary rules continue to be in effect until July 30, 2022. Learn more.

Written policy on disconnecting from work

Employers that employ 25 or more employees on January 1 of any year must have a written policy on disconnecting from work in place by March 1 of that year and provide a copy of that policy to employees.  “Disconnecting from work” is defined in the ESA.  A transitional provision establishes that employers that meet the 25-employee threshold on January 1, 2022 have until June 2, 2022 to meet the new requirement to have a written policy in place.

Non-compete agreements prohibited

Employers are prohibited (with some exceptions), from entering into a non-compete agreement with an employee. “Non-compete agreement” is defined in the ESA.  This prohibition does not apply to non-compete agreements entered into before October 25, 2021.

A system for licensing requirements of temporary help agencies and recruiters

On a date to be set by the Lieutenant Governor, amendments that establish a system for the licensing of temporary help agencies and recruiters will come into force

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development enforces and promotes awareness of employment standards, such as minimum wage, hours of work, public holidays and other standards. Explore this website to learn more about employee rights and employer obligations in Ontario.

File a Claim

Employees who believe their employer is not complying with Ontario's employment standards can file a claim with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

Tools and Calculators

Our tools and calculators can help employers and employees understand and calculate entitlements for public holiday pay, termination pay, hours of work, overtime and more.

For Employers

Employers and/or recruiters are legally required to provide employees with copies of these documents in certain circumstances.

For more information on employment standards and how they work, consult Your Guide to the ESA, 2000.

Public Holidays

  • New Year's Day: January 1, 2021
  • Family Day: February 15, 2021
  • Good Friday: April 2, 2021
  • Victoria Day: May 24, 2021
  • Canada Day: July 1, 2021
  • Labour Day: September 6, 2021
  • Thanksgiving Day: October 11, 2021
  • Christmas Day: December 25, 2021
  • Boxing Day: December 26, 2021

Learn more about public holidays or calculate your public holiday pay.