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Employment Standards Training and Education Program (ESTEP)


The Employment Standards Training and Education Program (ESTEP) provides funding to eligible organizations for projects designed to help educate employees and employers on their rights and obligations under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA).

The program’s focus is to help educate small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and vulnerable, non-unionized workers (including newcomers and young workers).

Key Program Objective

The key objective of the ESTEP is to expand the scope of the Ministry of Labour’s existing education and outreach efforts by funding the projects of external organizations that are designed to promote awareness and educate employees and employers on their rights and obligations under the ESA.

In 2018-19, ESTEP applicants may apply in one of two categories. Applicants may wish to promote awareness and focus their educational efforts on either:

a) Category #1 - General Overview of the ESA;


b) Category #2 - Focus Areas of the ESA (applicants may wish to focus on one or more of the standards below)

i. Focus 2A - Personal Emergency Leave;

ii. Focus 2B - Domestic and Sexual Violence Leave;

iii. Focus 2C - Equal Pay for Equal Work.

Applicants will have to submit two applications if they would like to request for funding under both categories. The Ministry of Labour will consider a maximum of two applications per organization. You will have to submit one application at a time.


The total available funding for the ESTEP is $1,000,000. Individual grant amounts will vary depending on the type of project proposed, however the maximum funding available per project is $200,000.

If you have previously received funding from the ministry for this grants program, you are not eligible for funding for the same project.

A project may vary in length, but must conclude by December 31, 2019. Projects can be a maximum of 12 months in duration and are expected to begin in the fall of 2018.


The application period is now closed.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to apply to the ESTEP, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

• Able to demonstrate the approximate capacity and approach to achieve and measure the estimated / projected outreach targets.

• A non-profit organization that has been legally incorporated and in operation for at least two (2) years.

• Able to establish and demonstrate governance and control.

• Accountability processes are available and in place to administer funds and deliver services.

• Proven reliable financial reporting.

• In compliance with applicable laws and regulations (i.e. Employment Standards Act, 2000 and Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1990).

• Able to prepare and provide reports, as agreed in the contract and/or at the Ministry of Labour’s request.

Not Eligible for Funding

Applications will not be considered:

• From individuals or profit-based organizations.*

• From organizations seeking deficit or emergency funding.

• For projects outside of Ontario or with programming occurring outside of Ontario.

• For projects that are unrelated to the key program objective.

• For religious and/or political activities.

* At this time, profit-based organizations are not eligible to apply for this grants program. However, profit-based organizations can participate by partnering with eligible not-for-profit organizations on their proposed projects. The eligible applicant would be the lead applicant and would accept any legal and financial responsibility for the approved grant(s).

Program Guidelines

Before applying, please read the ESTEP information below:

ESTEP Application Guideline

ESTEP Information Session May 9 & 30, 2018

Applicant Checklist

The following items must be submitted by the deadline on June 20, 2018.

1. Completed and signed e-copy of application

2. Proof of incorporation date/Letters of Patent

3. Previous year’s financial statement


The ministry will be holding two (2) information sessions held by teleconference on:

1. Wednesday May 9, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.

2. Wednesday May 30, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.

To register for these information sessions, please send an email request to EOP@ontario.ca by 4:00 pm on Tuesday May 23, 2018. The Ministry of Labour will provide you with the teleconferencing details upon confirmation.

If you have any questions regarding this Call for Proposal (CFP) process, please send an email to EOP@ontario.ca. All questions regarding this CFP must be submitted to the email address provided above by 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 31, 2018.

Last updated: June 22, 2018