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Glossary of Terms

Dress codes are rules regarding appropriate attire for the workplace and are to be determined by the employer. An employer can make a deduction from wages to cover the cost of a uniform, or other clothing requirements, if the employee has signed giving written authorization permitting the deduction and clearly stating the amount and when it will be deducted. Dress codes, however, cannot violate a collective agreement at the workplace, the Ontario Human Rights Code, or the rules under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Personal Emergency Leave is when an urgent, usually unexpected situation arises where an employee requires time off. Emergency leave is legislated under the Employment Standards Act (ESA). The minimum standard is unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 10 days each year. If a contract (which includes a collective agreement) provides a greater right or benefit than the personal emergency leave standard in the ESA, then the terms of the contract apply instead of the personal emergency leave provisions of the ESA. Only employees who work for employers that regularly employ at least 50 employees are entitled to emergency leave in certain situations. It may be taken in the case of personal illness, injury and medical emergency, or a death, illness, injury, medical emergency or urgent matter relating to a certain relative. More information can be found on the Ministry of Labour's Personal Emergency Leave page.

Employee Discounts are discounts given from employers to their employees on goods and services offered by the company. They may be given, but are not required in the workplace. The decision is ultimately up to the employer. For example: if you work at one retail store, you might get 20% off your purchases while you are an employee there, even though a similar retail store doesn’t offer discounts to their employees.

Family Medical Leave is covered under the Employment Standards Act. It is unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 8 weeks in a 26 week period. Family medical leave may be taken to provide care and support to certain family members for whom a qualified health practitioner has issued a certificate stating that the family member has a serious illness with a significant risk of death occurring within a period of 26 weeks. For more information, visit the visit the Ministry of Labour's Family Medical Leave webpage.

Meal Breaks are mandated for employees under the Employment Standards Act. An employee must not work for more than five consecutive hours without receiving a minimum of 30-minute eating period free from work. Employers are not required by law to provide any breaks in addition to this eating period. Should the employer choose to provide another break, the employee must remain at work during the break, and must be paid at least the minimum wage for that time.

Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage Rate
(per hour)
Rates from October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017 Rates as of October 1, 2017
General Minimum Wage* $11.40
per hour
$11.60
per hour
Student Minimum Wage* $10.70
per hour
$10.90
per hour
Liquor Servers Minimum Wage
$9.90
per hour
$10.10
per hour
Hunting & Fishing Guides Minimum Wage $56.95
Rate for working less than five consecutive hours in a day
$113.95
Rate for working five or more hours in a day whether or not the hours are consecutive
$58.00
Rate for working less than five consecutive hours in a day
$116.00
Rate for working five or more hours in a day whether or not the hours are consecutive
Homeworkers Wage* $12.55
per hour
$12.80
per hour

*The minimum wage will increase January 1, 2018 to $14.00 and January 1, 2019 to $15.00.

*Student Minimum Wage: This rate applies to students under the age of 18 who work 28 hours a week or less when school is in session, or work during a school break or summer holidays.

*Homeworkers Wage: Homeworkers are employees who do paid work in their own homes. This rate applies to students of any age employed as homeworkers

Pensions: are not mandated by the Employment Standards Act. If pensions are provided, employees must be able to continue participating in the plans when on pregnancy, parental, emergency leave or family medical leave.

*Portions of content of this page were copied from the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

 

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