Employment Standards

If you are a newcomer to Sarnia-Lambton and looking for work or starting a new business, you may have some questions about health and safety in the workplace, wages and contracts. This section provides an introduction to the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers in Ontario

Employment Standards Act, 2000 of Ontario

In Ontario, most occupations are covered under the Employment Standards Act, 2000. Some occupations are covered under the Canadian Labour Code instead.

Both the Ontario Employment Standards Act and the Canadian Labour Code set out a minimum standard for employment and workplace safety that employers and employees must follow. A few of the standards include:

  • the hours you can work
  • wages
  • overtime
  • breaks
  • holiday time
  • and more.

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Workplace Health and Safety

All workers have a right to a safe and healthy workplace. You also have the right to refuse work that you feel is dangerous. If you do, your employer must keep paying you until the danger is removed or a government official tells you it is safe to do the work.

To find out if the work you are doing is unsafe, ask yourself:

  • Have I been properly trained for the job I am doing?
  • Have I been given the right safety equipment to do the job?
  • Do I feel unsafe when I’m doing my job?
  • Do I work close to dangerous materials?

If you feel unsafe, speak to your employer immediately. If the problem continues, you should contact Safe at Work Ontario with your concerns as soon as possible.

For information about federally regulated workplace health and safety issues have a look at the health and safety information of the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) website.

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Workers’ Compensation

If you are injured on the job, you have the right to be compensated for damages, such as lost income, due to injury. This is called Workers’ Compensation.

If you are injured at work, you should:

  • inform your supervisor of the accident as soon as it happens;
  • visit a doctor right away if you need medical help.

To receive this help you are required to file a claim with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board

Workers Compensation: Making a Claim
Reference Guide for Workers

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Employment Insurance

Employment Insurance (EI) provides temporary financial assistance for unemployed Canadians while they look for work or upgrade their skills. To qualify for EI in Ontario, you must have:

  • Applied for EI
  • Paid into EI
  • Been without work and pay for at least seven consecutive days
  • Worked the required number of insurable hours (this number is based upon where you live and the unemployment rate for your region at the time you apply)

You may not be entitled to receive EI regular benefits if you:

  • Voluntarily left your employment without just cause
  • Were dismissed for misconduct
  • Are unemployed because you are directly participating in a labour dispute (strike, lockout, or other type of dispute)

Record of employment

When you leave a full time job, your employer must provide a Record of Employment that states the number of hours you worked and your wage and why you no longer work for the employer.

To apply for EI, you must have Records of Employment from all of your employers for the last 52 weeks.

If your employer does not provide a Record of Employment, you should contact the Employment Insurance section of Service Canada at the number below and tell them you were unable to obtain your Record of Employment

How to Apply

You can apply online with Service Canada

You may also apply in person at your nearest Service Canada Centre

Sarnia – Service Canada Centre
529 Exmouth Street
Sarnia, Ontario

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