Businesses planning to set up shop in Ontario must take note of employment laws in the province, and understand that important legislation like the Employment Standards Act, the Workplace Safety & Insurance Act, the Human Rights Code and the Pay Equity Act are all amended regularly, says Toronto employment lawyer Doug MacLeod.
Providing tips for corporations engaged in business in Ontario or looking to open offices in the province, MacLeod, principal of MacLeod Law Firm, says employers must “generally pay at least $11 per hour, provide employees with nine paid statutory holidays, a minimum of two weeks vacation, overtime after 44 hours in a week, and notice of termination.”
There are, however, exceptions to these minimum standards, he says.
“In the last couple of years, new laws have been introduced which require employers to ensure that all employees have received mandatory health and safety training, and training under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act,” adds MacLeod.
In addition to statute laws, Canadian courts have been expanding employee rights in recent years, says MacLeod, who also recommends that American corporations doing business in Ontario require that all new hires sign an employment contract.
“I sincerely believe that a properly drafted employment contract can significantly reduce employer liability for employee termination costs and significantly enhance management’s rights in other areas,” says MacLeod. “It is a relatively low-cost tool with significant monetary and non-monetary benefits.”