Legal Obligations

Practice groups have different obligations regarding each type of worker: partners, contractors, and employees. While financial and other penalties may be imposed for breaches, the primary reason to comply with these legislative responsibilities is to promote a healthy workplace with satisfied workers.
Partners are the practice group owners; contractors include associate midwives, locums, and second attendants; and employees refers to practice group administrators and other support staff. Students are typically participating in a placement through a midwifery education program, usually for less than a year at a time, and are not paid. Volunteers are unpaid community members who are present for less significant periods of time.

If a practice group makes use of other workers, such as high school students assisting with reception duties over the summer, the practice group needs to be careful that the Ministry of Labour or a court would not see the workers as unpaid interns. The longer this type of worker is assisting, the more likely it is that they will be found to be an employee who is entitled to wages.

The chart below outlines the legal implications of each category of workers, with further details on the hyperlinked pages. Canada Business Ontario has also developed a guide to employment regulations that outlines many of these obligations.


Human Resource Laws
  Partners Independent Contractors Employees Students Volunteers
Employment Standards Act (e.g., over-time, statutory holiday pay, rest periods, severance pay, etc.)    



Common law reasonable notice of termination No, unless partnership agreement provides otherwise No, unless contract otherwise Yes, unless contract otherwise – still need ESA minimum    
Ontario Human Rights Code Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act ? ? Yes No No
Occupational Health & Safety Act Yes Yes Yes Yes No but practices do have some responsibility for the safety of visitors
Workplace Safety & Insurance Board PG or worker choice PG or worker choice PG choice – if PG chooses, all employees and students must be covered No
Employment Insurance Worker option through tax filings (not source deductions) – worker pays entire contribution Yes Yes No
Canada Pension Plan Yes Yes No
Tax deductions at source No No Yes No No
Employer health tax No No Only if total salaries over $450,000 No No