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Vacation days, overtime, and pay

Other Exceptions (Part III) of the Ontario Employment Standards Act (ESA) states that

"a person who performs work under a program approved by a community college or university" is exempt from the Act.

This means that employers aren’t required to provide co-op students with vacation pay, overtime pay, or statutory holidays, but most employers include compensation for these as part of your salary.

Since you’re not covered under the ESA, employers aren’t required to provide:

  • notice or severance pay in case of an early termination of employment
  • vacation days, but may agree if the request is reasonable
  • time off for statutory holidays, but usually do

Exceptions may occur if you’re employed by an industry under federal jurisdiction. In this case, workers are covered under the Canada Labour Code

To determine what compensation you’re entitled to, contact Ontario Ministry of Labour and/or the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada Office.

Research your employer’s compensation policy during the job application and interview process. If you’re working outside of Ontario, be sure to find out the compensation regulations of your employer’s jurisdiction.