What Are My Rights Regarding Work Hours in Ontario?

by Real Estate 22 December 2022

work hours in Ontario

Employment laws in Ontario protect workers from having to work too many hours in a day or a week for obvious reasons – working too long can lead to accidents and injuries in the workplace and physical and mental health conditions caused by employee burnout.

The work hours in Ontario are simpler than in any of the other places around the world. The work hours in Ontario are 8 hours and 40 hours a week by calculating the working hours.

If your employer is violating any of the following rights regarding the number of hours you work, breaks or time off between shifts, book a free consultation with one of the leading Toronto employment law firms to discuss your options.

Exceptions To These Rules

Exceptions To These Rules

If you work in a federally-regulated industry (e.g., banking, international travel), the rules regarding working hours that apply to you are contained in the Canada Labour Code.

Certain Ontario workers, like emergency and hospitality workers, have special rules regarding working hours. Find out if they apply to you. Apart from the standard work hours in Ontario, there are many other odd times jobs. 

If you are doing that kind of job it will be better to check all details regarding the specific company norms. Then select the best working hours which are suitable for you. Whatever your working hours you are going to have specific government norms for it.

Related Read: Types Of Employment Disputes That Lead To Litigation

Working Hours In Ontario

Working Hours In Ontario

Ontario’s Employment Standards Act limits the number of hours an employer can require an employee to work to eight hours in a day or the number of hours in an established regular workday if it’s more than eight hours.

The ESA also prevents employers from requiring their employees to work more than 48 hours a week.

If both the employer and employee agree, however, employees can work longer than the daily or weekly limits as long as there is either a written or electronic agreement that states that:

  • The employer has provided the employee with the most recent information sheet for employees regarding hours of work and overtime pay.
  • The employee acknowledges the employer provided them with a copy of the information sheet.

Even with such an agreement, an employer is still required to pay overtime wages when an employee works overtime hours.

The overtime agreements need to be canceled by the employee if they give you two weeks before notice for writing it or for electronic insertions. Employers can cancel every type of agreement by providing reasonable notice and changing the work hours in Ontario.

Related Read: Know When It’s Time to Talk to an Employment Attorney

Time Off Between Shifts

Employees in Ontario are entitled to a minimum of eight hours off between shifts unless the combined hours of the two shifts are 13 hours or less, or an employee works a split shift, e.g., from 5:00 am to 10:00 am and then again from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

As with the daily and weekly limit on hours worked, an employer and employee can agree to less time off between shifts as long as the agreement is in writing or exists electronically.

Additionally, employees are required to receive 24 consecutive hours off workday in each work week or repeated 48 consecutive hours off from work in every two consecutive work hours in Ontario periods.

If there is a natural disaster, major equipment failure, or another exceptional circumstance, an employer is allowed to require employees to work longer hours or to have less time off between shifts.

Time Off Between Shifts


Under the ESA, an employee must be allowed a 30-minute meal break in a five-hour shift. If the employer and employee agree, the 30-minute break can be divided into two 15-minute breaks within a five-hour shift.

This break time is compulsory. Even if you are doing overtime jobs or extra time this will be a fixed time for a break. The break time can be long on the basis of the working hours and the shift’s length.

But no company is having a shorter time than this for work hours in Ontario and breaks. For extra and long shifts the workers will get much more extended time for breaks.

The 3-hour rule in Ontario

If an employer requires an employee to come to work for less than three hours, the employer must pay the employee for at least three hours of work hours in Ontario. However, this rule only applies if the employee regularly works more than three hours in a workday and is available to work more than three hours on that day.

Wrapping It Up:

I think you already get the ideas regarding the work hours in Ontario. The Ontario government is taking special attention to the well-being of individual workers and the employers are always maintaining all the government policies related to Ontario working hours. So what is your opinion? Do not forget to share your opinion through the comment sections about the Ontario government policies regarding employee working hours.


Sumona is a persona, having a colossal interest in writing blogs and other jones of calligraphies. In terms of her professional commitments, she carries out sharing sentient blogs by maintaining top-to-toe SEO aspects. Follow more of her contributions at SmartBusinessDaily and FollowtheFashion

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