Increased Workload? Signs of Constructive Dismissal?

Increased Workload? Signs of Constructive Dismissal?

In Ontario, employment laws set clear guidelines on how and when employers can modify your job duties, hours, or employment contract. This article addresses common questions employees have about these changes, such as added duties without extra compensation, reduced hours, and shifts from full-time to part-time status. Our goal is to clarify your rights and options, helping you navigate potential workplace challenges informed and confidently.

Can an Employer Add Duties Without Compensation in Ontario?

In Ontario, employment standards allow for some flexibility in defining job duties. However, significant changes to your job description without additional compensation might not always align with fair employment practices. If you find yourself taking on more responsibilities without extra pay, it’s advisable to discuss this with your employer. The Employment Standards Act (ESA) does provide protections, but it’s important to review your employment contract and possibly seek legal advice to understand your specific situation fully.

Can My Employer Legally Reduce My Hours in Ontario?

Yes, but with limitations. Employers must adhere to the ESA, ensuring that any reduction in hours does not violate minimum standards for work hours and notice periods. If your hours are reduced significantly, this could constitute constructive dismissal, allowing you to seek compensation. However, minor adjustments are often within legal bounds, provided they don’t drastically affect your income or job status.

Concerned About Job Changes or Reduced Hours?

If recent changes to your job or a reduction in hours have left you feeling unsure about your future, Achkar Law is here to assist. Our expertise in employment law can help you navigate these changes and protect your rights in Ontario. Reach out to us for guidance and support during these uncertain times.

What Happens If I Refuse a Reduction in Hours of Work?

Refusing a reduction in hours can be risky. Depending on the circumstances, an employer might see this refusal as insubordination. However, if the reduction significantly impacts your position or pay, refusing could be a step towards claiming constructive dismissal. It’s essential to communicate your concerns clearly and seek legal advice to understand your rights and the best course of action.

Is It Legal for My Employer to Change My Hours Through My Employment Contract?

Employment contracts often include clauses that allow for changes in hours, provided they’re within certain limits. It’s vital to review your contract closely. Any changes should be reasonable and not fundamentally alter the nature of your job. If changes are made unilaterally and without your consent, this could breach your contract, providing grounds for legal recourse.

Can My Employer Terminate My Employment for Refusing a Reduction in Hours?

Termination for refusing a reduction in hours is a complex issue. While employers have the right to restructure their business, including adjusting work hours, they cannot terminate your employment without proper notice or pay in lieu, according to the ESA. If you’re terminated under such circumstances, it might be considered wrongful dismissal, entitling you to seek damages.

How Can My Employer Legally Change My Shift or Hours of Work?

Employers can legally change your shift or hours of work within the framework of the ESA and your employment contract. Such changes should be communicated to you with reasonable notice. If the changes are substantial and detrimental to your working conditions, this could be viewed as constructive dismissal. Always review any proposed changes within the context of your contract and the law.

Can My Employer Shift My Employment from Full-time to Part-time Against My Will?

Changing an employee’s status from full-time to part-time without consent can significantly affect your employment rights, including benefits and job security. While employers may propose such changes for operational reasons, they cannot force this change without your agreement. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s crucial to understand your rights and possibly negotiate terms or seek legal advice.


Understanding your rights and obligations when facing changes in your employment conditions in Ontario is essential. While employers have certain rights to adjust employment terms, these changes must respect the law and the terms of your employment contract. If you’re unsure about your situation or how to proceed, seeking legal advice can provide clarity and ensure your rights are protected. Remember, being informed is your best defense against unfair employment practices.

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Quiet Quitting: What Does It Mean?

Terminating Toxic Employees: Mitigating the Risks

Need Legal Advice? Contact Achkar Law Today

If the changes in your employment situation are causing you concern, it’s important to take informed action. Understanding your rights is the first step, but navigating employment law can be complex. The Employment Lawyers at Achkar Law are here to help. With expertise in Ontario’s employment laws, we can provide you with the guidance and support you need to address your employment concerns effectively. Don’t navigate these challenges alone; contact Achkar Law today to ensure your rights are protected and your employment future is secure.

Toll-free: 1 (800) 771-7882 | Email: [email protected]

Facing Unwanted Employment Changes?

If your work life is being disrupted by changes you didn’t agree to, it’s time to seek professional advice. Achkar Law is dedicated to helping Ontario employees understand and fight for their rights. Contact us for a consultation.