23 May What is the difference between a domestic worker and homeworker in Ontario?
The number of employees who work from home has increased substantially in recent years due to the spread of COVID-19 in 2020. Since the worldwide circulation of the virus, many employees have learned that home offices are most conducive to their life and working style.
Under the Employment Standards Act 2000, there are two types of employees who work from the home – homeworkers and domestic workers.
Homeworkers are employees who work for their employers from the comfort of their own home. Those who began working remotely during the pandemic, and have remained in their home, could be categorized as homeworkers.
This type of employee must be paid, at minimum, equivalent to minimum wage. Since January 1, 2022, homeworkers are entitled to a higher minimum wage, which is now $16.50 per hour.
Domestic workers are completely different than homeworkers. Domestic workers, according to the ESA, are employees who work at the homes of their employers. For example, personal chefs, cleaning services etc. are all considered domestic workers.
These employees are entitled to the standard minimum wage in Ontario. Domestic workers (who are not students) are generally entitled to $15.00 per hour, and if the worker is a student, are entitled to $14.60 per hour.
Under the ESA, the homeworker’s rights are slightly different than domestic workers. The ESA specifies that homeworkers are entitled to continual payments over a consistent period, statements for each payment made, a description of their role as an employee, and the right to Termination of Assignment.
The homeworker’s rights outlined above have not been extended to domestic workers. The discrepancy in entitlements is reasonable because the roles and responsibilities of a homeworker differ from a domestic worker. Homeworkers are provided a responsibility from their employer that is consistently expected. Once they sign their employment contract, they are expected to perform their role every day and will receive assured payments for their regular work.
However, domestic workers are paid per job. Domestic workers can have multiple employers and will get paid once their task has been completed. Their work is not assumed or anticipated to be performed daily. The employer will request their services and will pay them for that singular time and effort.
For example, a cleaning service will receive compensation once they’ve finished the job. If they do not provide this assistance at any given time, their employer is not required to then provide payment without any completed work.
If you are a domestic worker or homeworker that requires further explanation on the rights you are entitled to, or believe your rights are not being upheld by your employer, please contact KCY at LAW by filling in an online consultation request or contact us by phone at 905-639-0999 to book your consultation today.