Ministry of Labour

It's Your Job

Parents: is your son or daughter's workplace safe?

Young workers often can't recognize health and safety hazards and may hesitate to ask questions. This can lead to serious injury or even death.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) sets out the rights and duties of all parties in the workplace. It establishes procedures for dealing with workplace hazards and it provides for enforcement of the law where compliance has not been achieved voluntarily.

Remind your kids that all workers have the right to:

All workers must:

Ask your working son or daughter about safety on the job:

Encourage your son or daughter to:

It's OK to say 'No!'' No job is worth risking life and limb!

Talk to your young son or daughter about job safety. Make sure he or she knows it's OK to say 'No!'' to unsafe work and that you will support that decision.

Call 1-877-202-0008 toll-free anytime to report critical injuries, fatalities, work refusals or other concerns. Call 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday, for general inquiries about workplace health and safety.

In an emergency, always call 911 immediately.

(TTY: 1-855-653-9260)

Learn more:

It's your job to ask about their safety at work.

Ministry of Labour

It's Your Job

Parents: is your son or daughter's workplace fair?

The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) sets minimum standards for things like pay, work hours and time off. Most workplaces in Ontario must follow this law and your kids' rights are the same whether they work full-time or part-time.

The basics

1.    Payday

Your son or daughter should expect a regular pay day and a pay stub that is clear. Make sure he or she keeps a record of hours worked.

2.    Deductions from wages

Some employers require staff to pay for their uniforms. Deductions from wages to pay for a uniform may be made only if the employee agrees in writing to have a specified amount deducted.

If a customer leaves without paying or your son's or daughter's error costs their employer money, that amount cannot be deducted from his or her wages. Learn more about deductions from wages.

3.    Where's the poster?

Every employer should have the ESA poster displayed where employees can read about some of their ESA rights. Learn more about the ESA poster.

4.   What is work time?

Time spent in training that is required by the employer or by law counts as work time. If your son or daughter has to transport materials from the workplace to another job site, that is work time, too. Learn more about hours of work.

5.    Can a worker be required to work on a public holiday?

If your son or daughter works in a hotel, motel, tourist resort, restaurant, tavern, hospital or an establishment with continuous operations, he or she may be required to work on a public holiday and would be entitled to premium pay for working that day. Learn more about public holidays.

6.    Special rules

Some jobs have special standards or exemptions. Learn more about industries and jobs with exemptions or special rules.

7.    What's vacation pay?

Vacation pay is at least 4% of wages (excluding vacation pay). Any vacation pay not already paid is owed to your son or daughter when his or her employment ends. Learn more about vacation time and vacation pay.

8.    Is your son or daughter a 'temp'?

Temporary employees generally have the same rights as other employees under the ESA. Learn more about working for a temporary help agency.

Learn more:

416-326-7160 (Greater Toronto Area)

1-800-531-5551 (Toll-free)

1-866-567-8893 (TTY for hearing impaired)

It's your job to see if they are being treated fairly.

Note: This document is provided for your information and convenience only. It is not legal advice. For complete information, please refer to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and its regulations and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.