Document Type


Publication Date


Source Publication

1/2016 (2016) IUS Labour, 154-64


Canada is a federal state and, under its constitution, legislative jurisdiction over labour and employment is vested primarily in its provinces and territories. As a result, there is no generally applicable national regime regulating hours of work, but rather a patchwork of laws with limited reach. It is not possible to cover all these laws in a brief overview and so we have chosen to focus on the laws of Ontario, Canada’s most populous province. However, it is also fair to say that while provincial laws vary, the law of Ontario reflects the general pattern of hours of work laws in Canada. As will be seen, while the development of the hours of work regime was initially driven by the demand to protect employees from long hours, it has also accommodated the demand of employers for flexibility and arguably, in recent years, flexibility for employers has come at the expense of protection for employees.