Many immigrants in Ontario work in low paying jobs in non-unionized workplaces. It is therefore important for immigrants and other low-income workers to know that there are laws in Ontario that provide basic protection for most employees, including those who work part-time, as well as those who find their jobs through temporary agencies. The Employment Standards Act (ESA) sets out the rules for minimum wage, hours of work, overtime pay, vacation pay, termination notice and pay, severance pay and parental leave for most employees in Ontario. It is administered by the Ministry of Labour’s Employment Standards Branch.

Workers who have lost their jobs may be entitled to receive Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The EI program is a Federal program administered by the Government of Canada. In general, regular employment insurance benefits are provided to employees (i.e., those who work for an employer) and not to those who are self-employed. Special EI benefits, such as maternity, parental and sick benefits may be provided to employees as well as self-employed people who join the program voluntarily.

This section of the website provides basic information about the ESA and EI. Learn about these laws in order to protect your rights.

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