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Developing enhanced data management and performance measures that will improve information

The Ministry of Labour’s Employment Standards Program is part of the Ministry’s Employment Rights and Responsibilities mandate and is a key contributor to the creation and maintenance of workplaces that promote a more competitive business environment, a more engaged workforce, and a level playing field for employers.

The program administers and enforces the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and the Employment Protection of Foreign Nationals Act (Live-in Caregivers and Others), 2009(EPFNA). Compliance with these laws and Regulations is promoted through activities focusing on prevention (education, outreach and partnerships), inspections, investigations and enforcement.

The program’s activities ensure that Ontario employees, including vulnerable workers, are protected by minimum workplace standards in respect to wages and working conditions.

The program provides information to employers and employees through various sources that explain respective rights and responsibilities under the ESA and the EPFNA. Much of this information is available in multiple languages. Program services are delivered through regional/field offices with enforcement staff that investigate and resolve complaints about employers who may not be complying with their obligations under the ESA and the EPFNA. Field staff also conduct proactive inspections of workplace practices to enforce and promote compliance.

In delivering its mandate, the Employment Standards program supports Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, the overall goal of which is to break the cycle of poverty through housing support, fair wages and working conditions, community empowerment and improving the success of children in school.

The ministry has been working to modernize the Employment Standards program on all fronts including:

  • Improving its investigation processes to better serve those who need our help. A two-step process ensures claims are considered for early resolution and parties are given an opportunity to resolve the issue.
  • Increasing the availability of compliance tools, resources and interactive online calculators for both employers and employees.