Administrative Structure

The Employment Standards Branch, the Director of Employment Standards and the Employment Standards Tribunal are the agencies responsible for the administration of the Employment Standards Act.

These agencies provide both dispute resolution and enforcement functions, as well as helpful resources for employers and employees.


The Employment Standards Branch is the administrative body primarily charged with handling complaints under the act. The Director of Employment Standards is the head of the Branch, delegating functions to staff who provide free and accurate advice to employers and employees about the interpretation and application of the ESA.

There are several branch offices throughout the province. You can visit the Ministry of Labour website to find the office nearest you.


The Employment Standards Tribunal is responsible for hearing appeals from decisions of the branch. It is important to understand that the branch and the tribunal are independent of one another. You can learn more about the tribunal by visiting its website: Employment Standards Tribunal.


These administrative bodies publish a great deal of useful information, including interpretive guides — for both employees and employers — on their websites. These websites are regularly updated to reflect legislative changes, upcoming statutory holidays and important notices for employees and employers.

For example, the Branch has published an Interpretation Guidelines Manual, setting out its approach to interpreting the act. While this manual can be very helpful, it is important to remember that it is not binding on the Tribunal. Thus, it serves only as a guide, rather than a binding statement of the law.

You are encouraged to visit these sites and become familiar with their contents.

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