While a “snow day” means something very specific to Canadian children (an unexpected day off school!) – it can mean something very different to employers and their employees.

Is an Ontario employer required to pay its employees for the day, or at least comply with the “three-hour rule” if they are unable to provide work for employees because of storms or similar causes beyond the employer’s control that results in a work stoppage?

In 2018, Bill 47 introduced the “Three Hour Rule” which provides that, under certain circumstances, employees must be paid for at least three hours at the employee’s regular rate of pay, even if the employee worked less than three hours.

One exception to that rule is that the above does not apply if the employer is unable to provide work for the employee because of fire, lightning, power failure, storms or similar causes beyond the employer’s control that result in a work stoppage.

In short, if Mother Nature causes an issue at the workplace where employees are unable to work, employers may not be on the hook to pay for that time off. If you have any questions about the three-hour rule or if it applies to a specific situation in your workplace, please do not hesitate to reach out to speak with an e2r™ Advisor.