Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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A policy statement by the employer is an effective way to communicate the organization's commitment to worker health and safety. Senior management attitudes, relationships between employers and workers, community interests and technology all combine to play a part in determining how health and safety are viewed and addressed in the workplace.

Workplaces with exceptional health and safety records have established a clear line of responsibility for correcting health and safety concerns. This action enhances working relationships between employers and workers.

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, an employer must prepare and review at least annually a written occupational health and safety policy, and must develop and maintain a program to implement that policy [clause 25(2)(j)].

A clear, concise policy statement should reflect management's commitment, support and attitude to the health and safety program for the protection of workers. This statement should be signed by the employer and the highest level of management at the workplace, thus indicating employer and senior management commitment.

In accordance with the Provincial Offenses Act, MOL inspectors have the authority to issue a ticket or summons for minor OHSA violations, and may also initiate prosecutions for certain violations. Currently, the maximum fine resulting from a ticket or summons is $1,000, though most violations of this nature are subject to a set fine, which generally do not exceed $300. A successful prosecution, though, may result in more severe penalties; individuals may be subject to a fine of $25,000 or imprisonment, while corporations may be fined up to $500,000.

The Employment Standards Act, 2000, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act specify exact posting requirements.

The Ontario government is committed to protecting workers' rights, and their health and safety in the workplace. To ensure that workers are aware of their rights, employers are required, by law, to post certain documents.  

Typically, businesses with over 5 employees require WHMIS and Violence in the Workplace training. If your business has contact with customers, you must also complete AODA training.  Managers must take the AODA management course, workers the AODA Customer Service course.

First of all, this legislation hasn't yet been passed, and if it does it will pertain only to the construction industry. The Ministry of Labour would require 1 ½ days of training and this would be done only by a designated delivery organization like Employers First Inc.

Under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), employment is terminated if the employer:


  • dismisses the employee
  • refuses to continue or is unable to continue employing someone (even when it's due to the employer's bankruptcy or insolvency)
  • constructively dismisses an employee and the employee resigns in response within a reasonable period of time
  • lays an employee off for a period longer than a temporary layoff.


There are a number or exemptions to the termination of employment provisions in the ESA. Be sure to check to make sure you're entitled to written notice of termination or termination pay in lieu of notice under the ESA.


Constructive dismissal is considered a termination of employment by the employer.

You may have been "constructively dismissed" if:


your employer significantly reduces your salary, or significantly changes such things as your work location, hours of work, authority or position without your actual or implied consent


you resign within a reasonable period of time in response.

It may also include situations when an employer harasses or abuses an employee, or when an employer gives an employee an ultimatum to "quit or be fired," and the employee resigns in response, within a reasonable period of time.

It's a complex and difficult subject. If you think you may have been constructively dismissed, you should contact the Ministry of Labour for further information.


Generally speaking, an employer who has no intention to end your employment relationship can suspend, cut back or stop your work for a limited period of time (for example, when there is not enough work to be done) without immediately triggering a termination of your employment under the ESA.

This is called a temporary layoff and the ESA does not require the employer to give you a notice of such a layoff.

Usually, a temporary layoff lasts no more than 13 weeks in any period of 20 consecutive weeks. But it could last:

(a) more than 13 weeks in any period of 20 consecutive weeks, provided that it lasts less than 35 weeks in any period of 52 consecutive weeks and that certain conditions exist (e.g., where the employee continues to receive substantial payments from the employer, or the employee receives supplementary unemployment benefits)


(b) a longer period than described in (a) above, where an employer recalls an employee who is represented by a trade union within the time frames set out in an agreement between the union and the employer.

If a layoff exceeds these limits in the ESA, the employment will be considered terminated. You may then be entitled to termination pay if notice of termination was not given.


In most cases, your employer can terminate your job at any time, but they must provide proper written notice, or termination pay instead of notice.


There are some situations where an employer can't terminate an employee's employment.

For example, your employer can't end your employment if any part of the reason for the termination of employment is based on you asking questions about the ESA or exercising a right under the ESA or because you take, or plan to take, a pregnancy, parental, family medical or emergency leave, or because you refused to work in excess of the daily and weekly limits on hours of work.


If you have been continuously employed for three months or more, and your employer "lets you go", your employer usually has to provide either written notice of termination or termination pay. If you are given written notice you will be expected to work through the notice period and will be entitled to no less than your regular wages for a regular work week for each week of notice.

How much written notice is required depends on how long you have been working for an employer:


Length of Employment

Minimum Notice Required

Less than 3 months


3 months or more but less than 1 year

1 week

1 year or more but less than 3 years

2 weeks

3 years or more but less than 4 years

3 weeks

4 years or more but less than 5 years

4 weeks

5 years or more but less than 6 years

5 weeks

6 years or more but less than 7 years

6 weeks

7 years or more but less than 8 years

7 weeks

8 years or more

8 weeks

Note: Special rules apply in the case of "mass terminations", where 50 or more employees are terminated at an employer's establishment within a four-week period. 

If you are entitled to notice of termination and don't get the required written working notice (see chart above), you must get termination pay instead. If you do get the required notice, you are not entitled to termination pay.

Termination pay is a lump sum payment at least equal to the regular wages for a regular work week that you would otherwise have earned during the notice period to which you were entitled. Special rules for calculating termination pay apply for employees who don't have a regular work week or are paid on a basis other than time worked (e.g., piece-work rate or commission).

Written notice and termination pay can be combined as long as the number of weeks of notice and the number of weeks of termination pay together equal the length of notice you are entitled to receive.



Employers must continue to make the benefit plan contributions required to maintain an employee's benefit plans during the notice period. This applies even if the employee has received termination pay instead of working part or all of the notice period.


Not everyone in every circumstance is entitled to notice of termination or termination pay, For instance, you are not entitled if:


  • you have been employed less than three months
  • you are a construction employee
  • you were employed for a definite term or to complete a specific task and the term expires or the task is completed within 12 months after employment commenced
  • you are guilty of wilful misconduct, disobedience or wilful neglect of duty that isn't trivial and hasn't been condoned by the employer
  • you are on a temporary layoff
  • you refuse an offer of reasonable alternative employment.


Termination pay is given in place of the required notice of termination of employment. Severance pay is paid to a qualified employee who has his or her employment "severed". It compensates for loss of seniority and job-related benefits and recognizes an employee's years of service.

The definition of when employment is severed is in some respects different from when employment is terminated. A person's employment is severed when the employer:


  • dismisses the employee
  • refuses to continue or is unable to continue employing someone (even when it's due to the employer's bankruptcy or insolvency)
  • constructively dismisses the employee and the employee resigns in response within a reasonable period of time
  • lays the employee off for 35 weeks or more in any period of 52 consecutive weeks
  • lays the employee off because all the business at an establishment is permanently discontinued
  • gives the employee written notice of termination and the employee resigns after giving at least two weeks' written notice, and the resignation takes effect during the employer's notice of termination period. (If the employer gives more notice than the ESA requires, this period is considered to be a period equal to the ESA period, ending on the termination date specified in the employer's notice.)


You only qualify for severance pay when your employment is severed and you:


  • were employed by your employer for five or more years (including all time in employment, whether continuous or not, or active or not.




  • your employer:
    • has a payroll in Ontario of at least $2.5 million, or
    • severed the employment of 50 or more employees in a six-month period because all or part of the business was permanently discontinued.

If you think you may qualify for severance pay, look for more information under Resources (below).

These links should help you address your issues with your computer or hardware when you are connecting to our live training sessions from your own computer.

General GoToMeeting Software Requirements:

GoTo Meeting Audio Testing and Troubleshooting:

​​​​​GoToMeeting Webcam Testing and Troubleshooting:

If you are experiencing issues with video or audio delivery in the session, please close your internet browser windows completely, and re-open them using the links provided from the email sent to you. If this does not solve the issue, please restart your computer completely and try again. This typically solves the issue. If you are still having difficulty, please contact the Employers First office for assistance.

Check that your speaker setup is set for 'stereo'. We have found that there is an issue with GotoMeeting and quadriphonic or surround sound enabled, even though the GotoMeeting 'sound test' works fine.  You can usually find these options in the Windows Control Panel, under Sounds. Contact us for help in resolving this issue.

If you need assistance in getting you or your staff registered for training courses using your database system, please review the following PDF file:

Self Registration Help

In the top right corner of the website on all pages you will see 'MEMBER LOGIN'. Click this link to be taken to the training management system login page.

To see the course calendar, navigate to 'TRAINING>TRAINING CALENDAR' using the navigation tabs at the top of the page.

You can also access it directly with this link:

To see the list of online courses available, navigate to 'TRAINING>ONLINE TRAINING' using the navigation tabs at the top of the page.

You can also access it directly with this link:

Our apologies you could not find what you are looking for - but there is a simple solution - use the following contact form to get in touch with us and get answers to your questions.

This is refering to the AODA (Accessibility for Ontario Disability Act) requirements.

You have to have a AODA Policy in Place if you have customers in your business.  This is added to your Health and Safety policies that should already exist for your business.

You are to complete training with all employees that work directly with your customers. There is a separate course for managers and employees that is required to be taken.

Your business must also file a compliance report:

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.