The Canada Labour Code acts determine fair labor standards in Canada. These acts make provisions for fair pay, hours and termination protocol. The labor code regulates employment only for federally controlled territories, which comprises 10 percent of the jobs in Canada. Provincial laws and governing bodies regulate the remaining 90 percent of Canadian jobs.

Work Schedule

Employers must post work schedules prior to the work taking place. If an employer modifies the work schedule, he must obtain written approval of the change from at least 70 percent of those affected by the change. The employer must then post the modified work schedule.

Averaging Work Time

If hours of work vary due to the nature of the job, an employer must average the number of hours worked per week and post the hours in writing. All employees must agree in writing to the average hours. The actual number of hours an employee works must fall between 40 and 48 times "the number of weeks in the averaging period." Employees receive overtime for all hours worked beyond the former calculation. Bereavement, leave of absence, holidays and unpaid absences on working days reduce the average number of hours by eight per day. Employees must have one day of rest for each week of work. Exceptions to this rule are by permit only.

Employing Minors Under 17

An employer may hire a minor under 17 if the minor does not have to attend school. A minor under 17 cannot work in an underground mine, cannot work with certain explosives, cannot work in nuclear energy, cannot work in certain areas of the shipping industry and cannot perform any work that may injure her or compromise her safety. Minors under 17 may not work between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.


If an employee arrives for scheduled work, the employer must pay him at least three hours' worth of wages whether or not his work is needed. Employers must notify employees regarding the amount of paid vacation time. Within ten months of beginning work, an employer must grant paid vacation to an employee for a number of days equal to the number of weeks worked. An employee may waive her vacation time, but the employer must still pay her the vacation pay in addition to usual wages.


If an employee works for three months or more, an employer must give him at least two weeks notice of termination or two weeks of wages instead of notice. If an employee works for twelve months or more, an employer must give her five days of wages plus an additional day of wages for each year worked. Termination because of "just cause" exempt the employer of these requirements.