In many restaurants and other retail businesses, employees are required to wear uniforms. Who covers the costs to buy, clean and maintain a work uniform? Here are the rules for each province.

  • Alberta:  Employers are allowed to charge employees for cost of purchasing, cleaning and maintaining a uniform, as long as it does not reduce the employee’s wage below minimum wage.  Employers may not deduct more than cost of uniform.  Employee must provide written authorization for specific amount to be deducted.  Full Details
  • British Columbia:  If an employee is required to wear a uniform, the employer must provide, clean and maintain the clothing free of charge.  Full Details
  • Manitoba:  Employers are prohibited from charging employees for uniforms.  Employers can ask employees to pay for the cleaning if the employer provides such a service, it directly benefits the employee, and employees can choose whether or not to use the service.  Full Details
  • New Brunswick:  Not specified.  Full Details
  • Newfoundland and Labrador:  Not specified.  Full Details
  • Nova Scotia:  Employers may not charge or deduct the cost of cleaning uniforms from employees’ pay if it would result in the employee’s hourly rate dropping below the provincial minimum wage.  Full Details
  • Ontario:  Employers may deduct the uniform costs from an employee’s wages if the employee agrees to the deduction in writing. Regulations on deductions for maintenance of uniforms/special clothing is not specified in the Employment Standards Act.  Full Details
  • Prince Edward Island:  An employer may ask a deposit of up to 25% of the cost of the uniform, but must return the deposit when employment is terminated and the employee returns the uniform. Employers cannot charge or deduct cost of uniform. Regulations on cleaning of uniform not specified.  Full Details
  • Quebec:  Employers must provide the uniform free of charge to employees making minimum wage. Deductions for providing and maintaining uniforms are not allowed if it results in the employee being paid less than the minimum wage. In the case where deductions are permitted, employees must consent to a specific amount in writing.  Full Details:
    Section 85 – Special Clothing
    Section 49 – Deductions from Wages
    Wages-Employees Receiving Tips – What the Act Says
  • Saskatchewan:  Employers may not charge the employee for providing, cleaning or maintaining a uniform.  Full Details

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Coming soon! A new resource for Restaurants Canada members: How to Create a Positive & Inclusive Workplace

Developed in collaboration with Centennial College, this new guide outlines the business case for inclusion, along with the laws, regulations and best practices for your business.


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