Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Enforcement of Ontario's Employment Standards Act: The Impact of Reforms

Document type Article
Author Vosko, Leah F.
Author Grundy, John
Author Noack, Andrea M.
Author Casey, Rebecca
Author Hii, Rebecca
Journal Canadian Public Policy
Volume 43
Date 2017 Sept.
ISSN 0317-0861, 1911-9917
Pages 190-201


This article examines the impact of recent reforms on the enforcement of the Ontario Employment Standards Act (2000). It analyzes changes to complaints processing before and after the implementation of the Open for Business Act (2010), part of which aimed to streamline workplace regulation. Drawing on a previously untapped source of information on employment standards enforcement, the Ministry of Labour's Employment Standards Information System, we argue that reforms to enforcement under the Open for Business Act appear to have eroded both the accessibility of the complaints system and the remedies available to complainants. By way of conclusion, the article outlines measures that hold the potential to strengthen the complaints system in Ontario.