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is break time typically paid in Ontario?

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  • Feb 27th, 2021 7:01 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Jun 17, 2017
167 posts
19 upvotes

is break time typically paid in Ontario?

I work f/t for an agency that handles customer service calls, however the break time has been unpaid since I joined...
Is this even legal??
6 replies
Jr. Member
User avatar
Feb 2, 2008
114 posts
79 upvotes
Unfortunately.

From the ontario labour site:


Employers are required to provide eating periods to employees, but they are not required to provide other types of breaks.

Eating periods
An employee must not work for more than five hours in a row without getting a 30-minute eating period (meal break) free from work. However, if the employer and employee agree, the eating period can be split into two eating periods within every five consecutive hours. Together these must total at least 30 minutes. This agreement can be oral or in writing.

Meal breaks are unpaid unless the employee’s employment contract requires payment. Even if the employer pays for meal breaks, the employee must be free from work in order for the time to be considered a meal break.

Note: Meal breaks, whether paid or unpaid, are not considered hours of work, and are not counted toward overtime.

Coffee breaks and breaks other than eating periods
Employers are required to provide employees with eating periods as described above. Employers do not have to give employees “coffee” breaks or any other kind of break.

Employees who are required to remain at the workplace during a coffee break or breaks other than eating periods must be paid at least the minimum wage for that time. If an employee is free to leave the workplace, the employer does not have to pay for the time.
Deal Addict
Dec 20, 2018
4932 posts
3984 upvotes
healsio wrote: I work f/t for an agency that handles customer service calls, however the break time has been unpaid since I joined...
Is this even legal??
they don't need to give you paid break if they give you paid or unpaid lunch/meal time every 5hrs. so in typical 8hr day... they can just give you an unpaid 30min meal break and no paid breaks.
Jr. Member
Aug 26, 2017
153 posts
94 upvotes
If you get paid for lunch, you'd be paid 40 hours a week. If not, you'd get 37.5, 36.25, or 35 hours per week depending on how long your agreed lunch break is.
Deal Addict
Jul 12, 2008
3135 posts
980 upvotes
GTA
Places I have worked
- All 8 hours paid (40 hours)
- All breaks and lunch unpaid (35 hours)
- Only lunch unpaid (37.5 hours)
- Lunch and 1 break unpaid (36.25 hours)
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 31, 2006
7072 posts
1784 upvotes
Toronto
badmus wrote: Places I have worked
- All 8 hours paid (40 hours)
- All breaks and lunch unpaid (35 hours)
- Only lunch unpaid (37.5 hours)
- Lunch and 1 break unpaid (36.25 hours)
But are you also aware that it can be this way too, 8 am to 5 pm (9 hours). 8 hours paid, 30 mins unpaid lunch break and 2 x 15 mins unpaid short break. The company did break any Ontario labor law, since the law just mention, an employer have to give an employee 15 mins break for every 2 hours he/she worked. I know T&T Head Office hours is 8 to 5 pm.

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