What is the Employment Standards Code?

The Employment Standards Code (ESC) sets the minimum employment standards in Manitoba. It outlines the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers. The legislation is drafted by Employment Standards, which develops the acts and legislation and receives employee claims. Employment Standards enforces legislation such as the Employment Standards Code, the Construction Industry Wages Act, and the Worker Recruitment and Protection Act. While there are some exceptions, the legislation applies to most of the province’s workers and business owners. 

But knowing exactly how the ESC impacts your business isn’t easy. It is an ever-changing piece of legislation that impacts how business owners run their organizations. Luckily, our team is here to help you make sense of it all.

An overview of the Employment Standards Code for employers

Employers regulated by the ESC should know what is legal and illegal for operating their businesses. You must meet the minimum standards to keep your doors open. This ensures you are providing employees with their rights and meeting your duties as an employer. In the Code, you can find the employment standards for:

  • General and statutory holidays. 
  • Scheduling, hours of work, and rest periods. 
  • Overtime hours and pay. 
  • Job-protected leaves. 
  • Minimum wage. 
  • Temporary layoffs, employee terminations, and pay. 
  • Vacation entitlement and vacation pay

This does not scratch the surface of everything the ESC covers—these are just some examples. If you need any help with the ESC, contact Employer Line today. Our team is here to help you meet standards and stay compliant with expert advice.

Employment Standards enforcement

Manitoba’s standards for employment are enforced through various means. These include audits, inspections, and judgment collection. Failure to comply will result in penalties and could lead to prosecution. 

You must meet the minimum standards set out as the penalties for non-compliance can be high. The Director of Employment Standards can impose fines of $500 per employee per offence, to a maximum of $10,000.

Our team is here to help you avoid this and answer any questions. We’re dedicated to the success of Manitoba’s employers. We know how hard it is to keep up with changing legislation, let alone update every document and inform your staff of the changes. 

Self-employed workers and independent contractors 

Self-employed individuals and independent contractors are not covered under the Employment Standards Code. This can be a source of confusion for employers. Employment Standards recommends that you clarify the nature of the employment relationship with this individual.

Start by asking the following questions: 

  • Who controls duties and schedules?
  • Is there an ability to negotiate payment?
  • What is the method of payment?

Keeping records 

Employers are required to keep employee records. These records include hours worked and how much the employee was paid. 

Examples of records that employers are required to keep include: 

  • Personal identification (i.e. name, date of birth, etc.) 
  • The first date of employment. 
  • Original wage and wage changes over time. 
  • Overtime and regular hours worked (recorded separately) 
  • Vacation dates. 
  • Copies of work schedules. 
  • The date of termination of employment. 

Questions about the Employment Standards Code? 

If you still have questions about the Employment Standards Code, call today. Our experts have the expertise you need to ensure that you comply with this legislation—keeping you compliant with Employment Standards. Give our free employer advice line a call today at 1-888-219-8767