MOL Blitz Results: Young Workers and Temporary Foreign Workers

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Some employees are at greater risk than others of not receiving their employment standards entitlements. They may also lack the ability and/or resources to understand their rights under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA).

From May 2 to June 30, 2016, Ministry of Labour employment standards officers conducted two simultaneous blitzes focusing on:

  • young workers
  • temporary foreign workers

The Ministry of Labour considers young workers to be employees under age 25 and temporary foreign workers to be those who have obtained work in Ontario through the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

The goal of these blitzes was to educate employers and promote compliance with the ESA in sectors that often employ these vulnerable workers.

Overview

Workplaces visited during both blitzes included sectors known to employ young workers and temporary foreign workers where there has been a history of non-compliance, including:

  • food services
  • retail trade
  • construction
  • other sectors known to employ young workers and temporary foreign workers

In both blitzes, employment standards officers checked to see if employers were complying with core ESA standards, with a particular focus on:

  • record keeping
  • hours of work
  • overtime pay
  • vacation with pay
  • minimum wage
  • public holidays

Officers delivered educational packages to every workplace inspected during the blitzes which included:

  • The Employment Standards Poster and
  • A document featuring links to a number of educational resources available on the ministry’s website.

Results

Table 1 – Young Worker Blitz – May 2 to June 30, 2016
Total inspections 273
Employers compliant [1] 42
Employers not compliant 231
Compliance tools issued [2] 863
Rate of voluntary compliance [3] 98%
Money recovered for employees Over $276,000
Most common monetary violations
  • Public holidays
  • Overtime pay
  • Vacation pay
Most common non-monetary violations
  • Vacation pay – Written agreements
  • Record-keeping
  • Hours of work

[1] No violations found
[2] Compliance orders, notices of contravention, tickets or orders to pay wages
[3] Percentage of money owing to employees, assessed during the blitz and voluntarily paid by employers

Table 2 – Temporary Foreign Workers Blitz – May 2 to June 30, 2016
Total inspections 70
Employers compliant [4] 27
Employers not compliant 43
Compliance tools issued [5] 102
Rate of voluntary compliance [6] 100%
Money recovered for temporary foreign workers Over $18,000
Most common monetary violations
  • Public holidays
  • Overtime pay
  • Vacation pay
Most common non-monetary violations
  • Record-keeping
  • Vacation pay – Written agreements
  • Poster

[4] No violations found
[5] Compliance orders, notices of contravention, tickets or orders to pay wages
[6] Percentage of money owing to employees, assessed during the blitz and voluntarily paid by employers

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:

  • 779 compliance orders during the young worker blitz and
  • 86 compliance orders during the temporary foreign workers blitz.

Where monetary contraventions are found and voluntary compliance is not achieved, an officer issues an order to pay wages. Two orders to pay wages were issued during the young workers 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:

  • 78 tickets during the young worker blitz and
  • 12 tickets during the temporary foreign workers 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. Officers issued 4 notices of contravention during the young workers blitz.

 

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