Legislative compliance

Ontario Employment Standards Blitz Results - How Employers Can Comply with the ESA

November 03, 2016

The results from the latest employment standards blitzes by the Ontario Ministry of Labour inspectors are in, and the report should serve as a wakeup call for employers of young workers (employees under the age of 25) and temporary foreign workers in the province. In May and June of 2016, inspectors conducted 273 inspections of workplaces that employ young workers, and 70 inspections of workplaces that employ temporary foreign workers. The inspections targeted workplaces in key industries, including food services, retail trade, and construction, where significant numbers of young workers and temporary foreign workers are typically employed. While the results are particularly relevant to businesses in these industries, all employers in the province should take note.


As you can see from the lists of most frequent monetary and non-monetary violations, basic compliance issues (such as providing appropriate pay for public holidays, overtime, and vacation, and keeping necessary employment records) are common. These are issues that can be easily solved with appropriate policies, documentation, and practices to ensure that the minimum standards are met, yet it seems that many employers are not taking the required action without prompting from the Ministry. The one bright spot from the blitz report is that 98% of employers with young workers and 100% of employers with temporary foreign workers voluntarily complied with orders from the Ministry of Labour.

Compliance with employment standards legislation should not be viewed as a far-off goal that can be worked towards. Rather, legal compliance should be considered a top priority for your organization that is essential to achieve in the present. The consequences of not maintaining compliance can include inspections, compliance tools, orders by the Ministry of Labour to remedy non-compliant conditions, fines, and court proceedings. In addition to doing the right thing and providing your employees with fair and equitable working conditions, adhering to the Employment Standards Act can help you to avoid the hassle and cost of dealing with the negative outcomes that frequently result from non-compliance.

Download HRdownloads’ Employment Standards Compliance Action Plan for advice on how your organization can make legislative compliance a reality.

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Source: Ontario Ministry of Labour, Blitz Results: Young Workers and Temporary Foreign Workers

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