For those who are working in Ontario, it is essential to know your rights as a worker. The government has provided a law, the Employment Standards Act (ESA), to safeguard workers’ rights. The act establishes rules and regulations on how an employer should fair-treat the workers.
While the Employment Standards Act provides protection to most of the workers in Ontario, the workers of federally regulated industries like transportation, banks, etc. are not covered under this law.
The ESA sets up rules that employers have to follow, which include:
- The number of hours a worker should be made to work
- The minimum wage a worker is entitled to
- When and how a worker should be paid for the overtime work
- The public holidays of the year
- The vacation period a worker can get and the vacation payment
- The leave entitlement during pregnancy and the paternal leave
- The personal emergency leaves that cover leaves during sickness
- The family medical leaves
- The family caregiver leaves
- The critically-ill child care leaves
- The child disappearance leaves or leaves for child death due to crime.
- The termination payment
- The severance payment
- How can a worker file for his/her claims
The Employment Standards Act has guidelines for the employers in Ontario on what they can make a worker do and what they cannot. If you are a worker in Ontario and think that your employer is not respecting your rights as their worker, you can approach the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and file your claim. The ministry is informed about the employers’ regulations, workers’ rights, and responsibilities.
Apart from the workers’ rights, you are also entitled to specific health and safety rights as well as the discrimination-free working rights. It is advisable that you, as a worker in Ontario, know all your rights, responsibilities, and Employment Standards in Ontario to help yourself with the right working life.