Step 4: On the Job Success
Employment standards are the minimum standards established by law that define and guarantee your rights as an employee. While many employees don’t know their rights, it is important that you educate yourself so that you are able to defend them when necessary. Employment standards include hours of work, pay, minimum wage, public holidays, vacation time, breaks, health and safety, discrimination, and human rights. While most occupations are covered under provincial legislation, the remainder are federally regulated.
Here are the labour standards for both Canada and Ontario
- Ontario Ministry of Labour: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pubs/es_resources.php
- Government of Canada Federal Labour Standards: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/employment-standards/federal-standards.html
- Service Canada Labour Standards: https://www.jobsetc.gc.ca/categories.jsp?category_id=8&crumb=7
- Employment Equity Act: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/E-5.401/index.html
Safety on the Job
All employees in Canada have the right to work in a safe and healthy environment. Too many workers either don’t come home or become sick from occupational illnesses. The Occupational Health and Safety Act lists employee rights and responsibilities that help protect workers from health and safety hazards in the workplace.
Every worker in Ontario has the following rights:
The right to know: Your employer must let you know about any hazardous materials used in your workplace and provide you with training on how to use them safely.
The right to participate: You have the right to participate in your employee health and safety committee. Being a part of the committee gives you the opportunity to voice your specific health and safety concerns.
The right to refuse unsafe work: If you believe that your work is unsafe, you have the right to refuse that work until the situation is investigated and corrected. However, if you are refusing unsafe work, you must immediately notify your supervisor. You cannot be penalized in any way for refusing unsafe work.
Tips for Keeping a Work-Life Balance
- Schedule brief breaks for yourself throughout the day. Your productivity and effectiveness will increase if you take even a ten-minute break every two hours and overall, you will get more accomplished.
- At the end of each day, set your priorities for the following day. Be realistic about what you can achieve in the time you have available.
- Only respond to email once or twice a day. Then, shut off your email program to avoid being distracted as messages come in.
- Make a distinction between work and the rest of your life. Protect your private time by turning off electronic communications. Don’t be available 24/7.
- Create a buffer between work and home. After work, take a brief walk, do a crossword puzzle, or listen to some music before beginning the evening’s routine.
- Decide what chores can be shared or let go. Determine which household chores are critical and which can be done by someone else. Let the rest go.
- Exercise. Even if it’s only for 15 minutes at a time, you’ll feel more energized and refreshed.
- Create and implement a household budget. Start by setting aside some money from each pay cheque for the future.
In Your Community
Make choices. Social, community and volunteer obligations pull us in many directions. Choose the ones that are most fulfilling and learn to say “no” to the rest.
Employment Ontario Employment Service
For non-Centennial students, please contact an Employment Ontario Employment Service office to assist you with your job search.
Centennial College Community Employment Services
1163 Ellesmere Road (at Midland)