Results of a province-wide enforcement blitz, from May to August 2017, that targeted employment standards violations involving new and young workers and hours of work.
From May 1 to August 31, 2017, Ministry of Labour employment standards officers conducted two blitzes focusing on:
- new and young workers
- employers who have, or applied for, “hours of work” or HOW approvals (this is when an employer requests approval from the Director of Employment Standards for excess weekly hours or overtime averaging)
New and young workers
During the new and young worker blitz, employment standards officers primarily targeted sectors known to employ new and young workers and with a history of non-compliance.
These sectors included food services, retail trade, construction and other sectors.
The officers checked to see if employers were following the minimum wage, hours of work and overtime pay standards of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA).
Hours of work (HOW) blitz
During the HOW blitz, employment standards officers focused primarily on sectors where there was a high rate of working excess hours, including:
- transportation and warehousing
- services to buildings and homes
- retail stores
The officers checked to see if employers were complying with their HOW approvals, if any, and the hours of work and overtime pay standards of the ESA.
Young workers may be at greater risk of having their employment standards rights violated because many work in seasonal, part-time or temporary jobs that fall outside the traditional employment relationship of full-time, permanent employment with one employer.
Focusing on new and young workers gives us the opportunity to focus on employer obligations under the ESA and make sure vulnerable workers are protected.
The number of HOW applications and approvals increases each year. This reflects the rise of non-standard and precarious work arrangements. Focusing on hours of work and overtime pay helps us make sure employers are aware of, and comply with, their obligations under the ESA.
We are committed to protecting vulnerable workers by ensuring they receive their entitlements under the ESA.
New and young workers
- 385 total inspections
- 183 employers compliant (no violations found)
- 202 employers not compliant
- 449 compliance tools issued (compliance orders, notices of contravention, tickets or orders to pay wages)
- 96% rate of voluntary compliance (percentage of money recovered during the blitz that was owed to employees and voluntarily paid by employers)
- $184,409 recovered for employees
- Overtime pay, minimum wage, public holidays/public holiday pay were the most common monetary violations
Hours of work (HOW) blitz
- 565 total inspections
- 328 employers compliant (no violations found)
- 237 employers not compliant
- 470 compliance tools issued (compliance orders, notices of contravention, tickets or orders to pay wages)
- 92% rate of voluntary compliance (percentage of money recovered during the blitz that was owed to employees and voluntarily paid by employers)
- $127,762 recovered for employees
- Hours of work: excess daily or weekly, overtime pay, hours of work: daily or weekly rest were the most common monetary violations
Compliance enforcement summary
An employment standards officer can issue a non-monetary compliance order if the officer finds an employer has contravened the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (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 778 compliance orders, including:
- 385 orders during the new and young worker blitz
- 393 orders during the HOW blitz
If an employer owes money to an employee (i.e. monetary contravention), and they do not voluntary comply (by paying the employee any outstanding wages), an officer issues an order to pay wages owing to the employee.
In total, officers issued:
- 2 orders to pay during the new and young worker blitz
- no orders to pay during the HOW blitz
Officers also issued tickets to employers during the blitzes under Part I of the Provincial Offences Act. The tickets included a $295 fine plus a victim fine surcharge.
In total, officers issued 20 tickets, including:
- 13 tickets during the new and young worker blitz
- 7 tickets during the HOW blitz
Employment standards officers have the power to issue notices of contravention with penalties starting at $250 when they believe an employer has contravened an ESAprovision.
In total, officers issued 119 notices of contravention, including:
- 49 notices of contravention during the new and young worker blitz
- 70 notices of contravention during the HOW blitz
Originally posted on www.ontario.ca
Published on February 14, 2018