Ontario Break Laws

In Ontario, what type of break period am I entitled to at work?

Walter Yoo, Employment Lawyer at Monkhouse Law explains break periods in Ontario:

The Employment Standards Act of Ontario contains provisions that prescribe several different types of break periods. The law prescribes a mandatory 11-hour period each day where you must be free from work. The only exception to this rule is for an employee who is on call and is called in during a period in which they would normally not be expected to work.

Employees are also entitled to a 24-hour period where they must be free from work during any given work week or 48 hours if it’s two consecutive work weeks. There are a number of exceptions to these workfree periods. These exceptions include if your employer has an emergency or needs to ensure the delivery of essential public services, seasonal operations or needs to perform urgent repairs to equipment.

Another form of mandatory break period is an eating period. Your employer needs to ensure that you have at least half an hour within which to eat your meals so that you’re not working five consecutive hours without a meal break. You can contract into an agreement whereby you receive two 15 minute break periods for meals. Unfortunately your employer has no obligation to pay you for these break periods unless you’re contract with your employer says otherwise.

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