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What to Expect During an Employment Standards Inspection | Inspection sur les normes d’emploi


[TITLE: What to expect during an Employment
Standards Inspection] Ali Sheik: The role of an Employment Standards
Officer is to conduct inspections and investigations. [TITLE: Employment Standards Officers travel
all over the province to inspect workplaces.] Ali Sheik: These inspections make sure employers are
complying with their responsibilities under the Provincial Employment Standards Act. Officers
focus on standards such as: Posting the Employment Standards poster in
the workplace and distributing it to employees, Timely, accurate wage statements…with no
unauthorized deductions, accurate record keeping, proper hours of work and eating periods, accurate
overtime pay, adherence to minimum wage, public holidays, and vacation pay standards and restricting
temporary help agencies from charging fees to employees. [TITLE: Preparing for an inspection] Maureen Sands: My name is Maureen Sands and
I’m an Employment Standards officer and when I conduct an inspection I typically give
an employer 10 days written notice when that inspection will take place. This gives the employer an opportunity to
get their records available. It also gives us time to do our preparation.
We check the legal name of the business, whether it is still active, and we’ll look at their
claims and inspections history, and we will also check to see if the workplace is unionized. We generally don’t conduct inspections in
unionized workplaces. They have their own dispute resolution process to follow. We supply written notification of the inspection
to the employer along with web-links to review their responsibilities. The notification also
provides the officer’s contact information for any questions about the inspection. [phone rings] Ali Sheik: “Ministry of Labour, Ali Sheik
speaking.” Employer: “Hi, I’ve received a notice
of inspection and I was just wondering why it is that our workplace is being inspected?” Maureen Sands: Workplaces are selected through a variety of methods. These may include: Third party information, local intelligence,
or random selection as part of a sector-specific enforcement blitz. In some cases, we may also re-inspect a workplace
to make sure that past violations have been corrected. During an inspection the Employment Standards
Officer will take a look at a number of records which may include: schedules, time sheets,
payroll ledgers and wage statements. The notice that we send out to employers also indicates
important information about the Employment Standards poster. [TITLE: The day of the inspection] The procedure is we arrive at the workplace
and meet the employer or their authorized representative. Employment Standards Officer: “I’m Ali
Sheik. I’m an Employment Standards Officer with the Ministry of Labour. I’m here to
do an inspection” Employer: “I’ve been expecting you. Come
with me, the records are in my office.” We review a variety of documents that relate
to the Employment Standards Act. Beginning with an employer interview to determine compliance
with the ESA. We also take time to answer any questions
an employer may have about their responsibilities. During the inspection, I will ask the employer
to show me where in the workplace they have posted the Employment Standards poster. I
will make sure the poster is correct and it’s in a conspicuous place for the employees to
see. We also interview employees selected at random. Ali Sheik, speaking to employee: “Hi there.
As a part of my inspection today I’m conducting interviews. You’ve been randomly selected. Do you mind
speaking with me for a couple of minutes?” Employee: “Sure. Absolutely.” Ali Sheik: If I have reason to believe that
there is not going to be adequate privacy to properly interview employees, I will make
that known to the employer and let the employer know that I require a place that is comfortable,
and that is isolated from the rest of the workforce or work environment. During the inspection some documents are going
to be required from the employer to prove the various standards are being complied
with. We then use the documents provided by the
employer to perform a test audit. The test audit involves the selection and
review of payroll and other records. We randomly select employees to determine that at least
the minimum standards are being met. [TITLE: If no problems are found at the inspection] Ali Sheik: When I finish the test audit, if I find there
is compliance with all standards that were inspected, I will then issue an inspection
report which outlines the steps that I took and the findings I have made. The file is
then closed. [TITLE: If problems are found at the inspection] Maureen Sands: If it’s been found that an employer has contravened the Employment Standards Act, a full-audit or self-audit may be conducted for a set period
of time. Ali Sheik: If I determine that the employer has contravened the ESA I may take enforcement actions such as: issuing a ticket, issuing a Notice of Contravention or in some cases recommending a Part Three prosecution under the Provincial
Offences Act. Maureen Sands: When the audit is completed, the employer is asked to voluntarily comply and correct any of the issues that were identified during
the inspection. If wages are owed to employees we will ask
the employer to pay those wages. Ali Sheik: If the employer does not comply voluntarily,
I will issue an order to pay for the amounts that are outstanding. Maureen Sands: When the inspection is completed, the officer will provide the employer with an inspection report which is required to be posted. Ali Sheik: And the employer is asked to complete a Notification of Compliance indicating the dates upon which compliance has been achieved. Maureen Sands: When the notification of compliance form is returned to the officer the inspection is closed; however, the employer can be identified
for a re-inspection at a later date to still ensure compliance. For more information on your Rights and Responsibilities under the Employment Standards Act, please visit our website. [TITLE: ontario.ca/employmentstandards | 1-800-531-5551]

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