Plenty of exceptions to overtime rules

Different standards exist from province to province
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/12/2007

Overtime legislation is nothing new in Canada — it’s been around since the early 1900s, and has transformed and evolved over the years.

Each province has its own set of employment standards that dictate minimums for work hours and overtime (see table). However, there are many exceptions to the rules such as collective agreements, ministerial permits and emergency situations.

“While employment standards have similarities, there are nuances,” said Deborah Zinni, assistant professor of the faculty of business at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont. “It really depends on the party in place, lobby groups that are active at the time and the needs of the province. It’s a very tough balancing act for the government, keeping in mind the employee and employer, small or large, and the ability to pay.”