Should Training be Paid?

So you’ve just landed a new job. Congratulations! Everything is new and exciting and there is plenty of learning and adapting ahead of you. Often, starting a new position means learning the ins and outs of your specific role and your place of employment as a whole. Your employer may require you to receive training to get yourself up to speed with specific workplace protocols and procedures or skills that you will need to safely operate equipment or engage with clients. All of which may all lead you to wonder: will I be paid for training?

If the answer isn’t ‘yes’, you may have a problem.

According to the ministry of labour, “time spent by an employee in training that is required by the employer or by law is counted as work time.”

This means that any mandatory training that you must undertake as part of your employment – be it instruction on how to use a new point of sale system, Plan to Protect training, or even a general systems orientation – must be paid.

While some employers may insist that they do not have to pay you for training or working a trial shift (as is often required of restaurant workers) this is incorrect. The Employment Standards Act is abundantly clear that employees have the right to be paid for doing work and that this includes training time and trial shifts.

Training looks different from one workplace and one role to the next. It may involve learning how to operate equipment, understanding lockdown procedures, or receiving instruction on anti-oppressive practices.

While employers can reasonably expect a qualified new employee to be prepared and adaptable to their new role, they should also ensure that all employees are equipped with the necessary training to perform their job safely and effectively. Sometimes, this means that training may be occasionally necessary throughout an employee’s career. As technologies, laws, policies and procedures are updated, employees may need periodic training throughout their employment. If an employer deems any training mandatory throughout an employee’s tenure, they must pay this employee for their time spent in said training.

One limited exception to workers’ right to be paid for their work is internships. However, there are limited circumstances under which an internship does not need to be paid. You can learn more about what constitutes an internship and your entitlements as an intern here.

Takeaway for Employees

Whether you are starting a new job or making mandatory updates to your skills, you are entitled to be paid your regular hourly wage while you are being trained. If your employer refuses to pay you for training or trial shifts, you should speak with an employment lawyer. They can advise you of your rights and advocate on your behalf. Call KCY at LAW today 905-639-0999 or connect with us online by filling out a consultation request form.