Why is an employer saying I have to be an independent contractor?

Learn about basic rights of employees under the ESA

The (ESA) has minimum standards that employers must follow. But not all jobs are covered by the ESA. And, in some cases, only parts of the ESA apply.

Use the Ministry of Labour's online tool called Industries and Jobs with Exemptions or Special Rules to find out if your job is covered by the ESA and which parts of the ESA apply.

You can also call the Ministry's Employment Standards Information Centre at 1-800-531-5551, 416-326-7160, or 1-866-567-8893 (TTY).

Rights of employees under the ESA

An employer might want you to be an independent contractor so you won't have rights under the ESA like:

  • minimum wage
  • limits on the number of hours you have to work
  • overtime pay
  • vacation pay
  • paid time off or extra pay on public holidays
  • pregnancy or parental leave and other types of leaves where your job is protected
  • the right to notice or if you're fired or laid off
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