Issued: January 2017

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development conducted inspections of workplaces with past Employment Standards Act violations

From September 1 to October 31, 2016, Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development employment standards officers conducted an inspection blitz focusing on repeat violators, taking a zero tolerance approach.

Repeat violations are one indicator of intentional or wilful non-compliance. Focusing on repeat violators provides the ministry with an opportunity to reinforce employer obligations under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) in workplaces by placing an emphasis on employers who have a history of non-compliance with the ESA.


During the blitz, employment standards officers focused primarily on sectors where there is a high rate of precarious employment including professional services, building services, amusement and recreation industries, personal care services and other sectors with repeat violators. The officers checked to see if employers were complying with core standards of the ESA, with particular focus on:

  • record-keeping
  • wage statements
  • hours of work
  • eating periods
  • overtime pay
  • vacation with pay
  • minimum wage
  • public holidays
  • unauthorized deductions
  • poster requirements

The ministry is committed to protecting vulnerable workers by ensuring they receive their entitlements under the ESA.


September 1 to October 31, 2016

103 inspections were completed:

  • 28 employers were compliant and no violations were found
  • 75 employers not compliant
  • 269 compliance “tools” (e.g., Compliance Order, Notice of Contravention or Part 1 Ticket) were issued.
  • 100% of the monies owing to employees assessed during the blitz were paid voluntarily by the employer.
  • Over $125,267 was recovered for employees.
  • The most common monetary violations were for:
    • public holiday pay
    • vacation pay
    • overtime pay
  • The most common non-monetary violations were for:
    • record keeping
    • hours of work – excess daily/weekly
    • vacation pay – written agreements

Compliance enforcement summary

An employment standards officer can issue a non-monetary Compliance Order if the officer finds that the employer has contravened the ESA. The officer can order an employer or other person to stop contravening a provision and to take certain steps to comply.

In total, officers issued:

  • 227 Compliance Orders during the repeat violators blitz

Where monetary contraventions are found and voluntary compliance is not achieved, an officer issues an Order to pay wages. No Order to pay wages were issued during the repeat violators blitz.

Officers also issued tickets under Part I of the Provincial Offences Act to some employers during the blitzes. The tickets included a fine of $295 plus a victim fine surcharge.

In total, officers issued:

  • 27 tickets during the repeat violators blitz

Employment standards officers have the power to issue Notices of Contravention with prescribed penalties starting at $250 when they believe an employer has contravened a provision of the ESA.

In total, officers issued:

  • 15 Notices of Contravention during the repeat violators blitz