Employer compliance with federal labour standards

On this page

The Labour Program supports and encourages employers to be compliant with the Canada Labour Code (Code) through the following activities:

When employers are not following the Code, the Labour Program uses fair, foreseeable, and nationally consistent measures to enforce compliance.

Note: for the purpose of this web page, reference to “employee(s)” includes persons that are often referred to as “interns”. It excludes student interns who are undertaking internships to fulfill the requirements of their educational program.

Compliance with federal labour standards

Federally regulated employers and employees must follow the employment conditions for wages and other benefits set in Part III of the Code. This ensures a level playing field for all federally regulated industries and workplaces.

If the Labour Program finds that an employer is operating below these conditions, the Labour Program may take a number of escalating compliance and enforcement actions, including:

Misclassification of employees

Federally regulated employers are prohibited from misclassifying employees in order to avoid their obligations under the Code and Regulations. The following are some examples of situations in which an employee may be misclassified:

Any employer who knowingly misclassifies an employee is contravening the Code. They may be subject to enforcement action by the Labour Program, up to and including an administrative monetary penalty (AMP) or prosecution.

Keeping records

As an employer, you must keep employment and payroll records for each employee for at least 36 months. When employment ends, you must also keep the employee’s records for another 36 months. In addition, you must post Schedule II “Notice Related to the Canada Labour Code – Part III” in the workplace. This is so your employees know their rights and where to get more information about the federal labour standards.

You must also keep records for each student intern for at least 36 months after the internship ends.

What must be in the record for employees

The Canada Labour Standards Regulations (Regulations) list in detail what you must include in each employee record file. In general, each employee’s employment and payroll record file must contain the following:

General records

Earning records

Averaging records

Additional requirements

What must be in the record for student interns

The Standards for Work-Integrated Learning Activities Regulations (Regulations) list in detail what you must include in each student intern’s record file.

In general, you must keep records of the following information:

Sharing records with the Labour Program

While it is mandatory for you to keep employee and payroll records, it is also beneficial. The Labour Program may ask to see your employment and payroll records when:

If you do not provide the requested records, the Labour Program may decide to issue enforcement actions. These can be up to and including an administrative monetary penalty based on:

For more information on keeping records, please consult: Section 24 of the Canada Labour Standards Regulations.

Related links

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: