Peter Straszynski discusses nannies and employment law in
Ontario including what rules apply to hiring a nanny as part of the
Torkin Manes LegalPoint Video Series.
In Ontario, nannies are "employees" for all legal
purposes, and the person hiring the nanny has the legal
responsibilities of an employer.
It makes no difference if the nanny works part-time or full-time
.... or whether they live in or out of their employer's
If you employ a nanny, you are legally required to provide him
or her with written details of their employment terms, including
regular hours of work (specifying starting and finishing times),
and their hourly rate of pay.
Nannies are entitled to all of the following minimum standards
under our Employment Standards Act:
hours of work protections
vacations with pay
pregnancy and parental leave
family medical and other emergency leaves
termination notice and or pay in lieu of notice
severance pay; and
equal pay for equal work
Nannies are entitled to be paid at least the minimum wage.
Nannies who are also students... under the age of 18 and who work
under 28 hours a week during school or during a school holiday, are
entitled to the (lower) "student" minimum wage.
Nannies whose employment is terminated without cause are
entitled to notice of termination or pay instead. Each case must be
determined on its own facts. Factors important in the assessment of
a nanny's entitlements on termination include:.... the minimum
notice or pay required by the Act ..... whether there is an
enforceable written contract that determines termination
entitlements; and.... in the absence of a written termination
clause, the "common law" entitlement to "reasonable
notice" or pay instead.
As an employer, you can benefit from using a written contract
when hiring a nanny, specifying the terms and conditions of the
employment relationship and limiting entitlements on termination.
You have to be very careful, however, not to create terms that fail
to meet minimum standards under the ESA. Failure to meet
minimum standards may render the entire contract unenforceable.
Employers are required to withhold taxes as well as Canada
Pension Plan and Employment Insurance premiums from a nanny's
pay... and to match those contributions. To do so, you'll have
to apply to Service Canada for a Business Number and provide
information about the nanny, including his or her Social Insurance
Number, full name, and address. The Revenue Canada Payroll
Calculator can assist you in calculating how much to remit
Safety & Insurance
Employers of nannies who work more than 24 hours a week are
required to register with and pay insurance premiums to the
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board ("WSIB"). Failure to
register and remit premiums can result in significant penalties and
costs, particularly in the event of a workplace accident.
If you have specific questions or require more information about
this or any other employment or human rights topic, please call or
email us at any time.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
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