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Employment Standards Act


E​stablished in 1919 to develop and enforce labour legislation, the Ministry of Labour's mission is to advance safe, fair and harmonious workplace practices that are essential to the social and economic well-being of the people of Ontario.


Through the ministry's key areas of occupational health and safety, employment rights and responsibilities, and labour relations, the ministry's mandate is to set, communicate and enforce workplace standards while encouraging greater workplace self-reliance. The Ministry also develops, coordinates and implements strategies to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses and can set standards for health and safety training.


A range of specialized associations, agencies, boards and commissions assist the ministry in its work.

You can learn more about employee rights and employer obligations in Ontario by accessing the Employment Standards Act.

Know your rights and obligations under the Employment Standards Act (ESA). This guide describes the rules about minimum wagehours of work limitstermination of employmentpublic holidayspregnancy and parental leaveseverance payvacation and more.

Your Guide to the Employment Standards Act

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