Domestic workers are individuals hired in a private household by householders to assist and/or supervise individuals such as children, elderly, disabled persons, or provide housekeeping services. Householders include individuals that own or rent a house. Domestic workers hired by householders are considered employees under the law in Ontario. This means that the provisions set out in the Employment Standards Act (2000) apply to the relationship between the householder and the domestic worker.
Some key provisions that apply to domestic workers are minimum wage ($14.00 per hour), mandatory rest periods (30 minutes uninterrupted meal period for every 5 hours of work), overtime pay, vacation pay, and public holidays. Domestic workers are also entitled to termination and/or severance pay in the event the householder decides to end the domestic worker’s services. Domestic workers are also entitled to job-protected leave time, such as pregnancy and parental leave, personal emergency leave, critical illness leave, and all other leaves covered under the Employment Standards Act.
Householders are also required to make the mandatory deductions as required under the Employment Standards Act. This includes deductions for Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance, and income tax, while also making the mandatory employer contributions where applicable. Domestic workers are entitled to receive a breakdown of their earnings and deductions in the form of a pay stub. If there are violations of the Employment Standards Act, domestic workers may contact the Employment Standards Information Centre for inquiries or how to file a claim.