Employment Standards Compliance Order Appeal – Appeal of a review decision made by the Head of Compliance and Enforcement

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    IMPORTANT: The information on this page only applies if you have requested that the Head of Compliance and Enforcement at the Labour Program (the Head) at Employment and Social Development Canada (the Labour Program) review a Compliance Order,

    AND the Head of Compliance and Enforcement has issued a decision.  

    If you have requested a review by the Head of Compliance and Enforcement and they referred the review to the Canada Industrial Relations Board (the Board), go to the webpage on Compliance Order Appeal – Referral by the Head. 

    If you have requested a review by the Head and have not received a response, you can contact the Labour Program to find out the status of your request.

    If you are an employer and you believe that the Labour Program should not have issued a Compliance Order against you, you must first file a request for review of the decision with the Labour Program. The Canada Industrial Relations Board can only get involved once the Labour Program has issued a Compliance Order, and the Head has either:

    • reviewed, confirmed or changed the Compliance Order; or
    • decided not to review the Compliance Order and referred it to the Board.

    Please visit the main Compliance Order Appeals page for a description of the process that needs to be followed.

    Who can file a compliance order appeal with the Canada Industrial Relations Board?

    • If you are an employer and you:
      • requested that the Head review a Compliance Order,
      • have received the Head’s Review Decision,
      • do not agree with the Review Decision, and
      • fewer than 15 calendar days have passed since you received the Review Decision,
    • You can file an application to Appeal the Review Decision with the Canada Industrial Relations Board.   

    How do I file a compliance order appeal?

    • If there is no form for the type of application that you are filing, you must write a letter to the Board explaining your application. The letter should include:
      • your name and contact information (address, telephone number, and email address);
      • if you are a union or an employer, the name and address of the union or the employer;
      • the name and contact information of your representative, if you have one;
      • the name and contact information (address, telephone number, and email address) of the person or organization you are making the claim against;
      • a clear explanation of the application, starting with the earliest action and ending with the most recent; and
      • copies of the documents that support your claim (these could be sections of a collective agreement, letters, notices, flyers, mass communications, emails, and text messages). 
    • If you do not file all the information that the Board needs, it will take the Board longer to process your application. 
    • In some cases, not filing all the information that the Board needs can result in your application being dismissed without the opportunity to make any further submissions.
    • All documents, including applications and all supporting documents, are filed using the Board’s E-Filing Web Portal. This is the fastest and most accurate way to file documents with the Board.  
    • You do not need to send the Board a paper copy of documents that have been e-filed with the Board. If you need assistance with the E-Filing Web Portal, you can contact the Board directly using its 1-800 line or online inquiry form. The Board’s contact information can be found here.   

    How long do I have to file a compliance order appeal?

    • You have 15 calendar days from when you received the Review Decision to file an Application to Appeal with the Board. The Board may accept a late application.  When you file your application, you will need to also ask the Board for more time to file your application and tell it why your application is late. The Board will then decide whether to accept your application. You cannot ask for more time to file your application before you file your application.

    What should my application include?

    • You will need to tell the Board what mistakes the Head made in the Review Decision.
    • In your application, you must describe, as clearly as you can, the errors that the Head made in the Review Decision. You should tell the Board what parts of the Review Decision are wrong, and why.

    Who is involved?

    • The employer who received the Compliance Order. 
    • The Labour Program may be added as a respondent.
    • The employee who originally complained to the Labour Program about compliance with minimum standards, if the Compliance Order was a result of a complaint by an employee. If so, the employee may be added as a respondent.
    • The applicant and the respondent are sometimes referred to as the parties.
    • The Industrial Relations Officer (IRO) – for more information on the role of the IRO, click here.   
    • The decision maker appointed by the Chairperson to hear and decide the application.

    Can I be represented by someone else? 

    • Yes, each party can be represented by the person of their choice.
    • The Board does not provide lawyers to assist parties.  
    • The Industrial Relations Officer working on the file can help parties understand the process and what they need to do to prepare for a hearing, but they are impartial and do not provide legal or strategic advice as a lawyer would.
    • The Board recognizes that parties who represent themselves may not know the law or the process and may find it intimidating to appear before the Board. The Board will try to make the process as simple as possible given the nature of the dispute.
    • It is important that you attend any case management conferences that the Board organizes.  These conferences are often used by the Board to explain the process and what the Board will expect from the parties at a hearing. 

    What happens after I file my application to appeal?

    • The Board will send a copy of your Application to Appeal to the Labour Program. The Board will ask the Labour Program to send it a copy of their file.
    • The Board will send the employer who filed the application (the applicant), the Head, and any other parties named in the application (the respondent) a letter acknowledging receipt of the application.    
    • If either of these parties has hired a representative, such as a lawyer, the letter will be sent to them. It is the representative’s obligation to keep the party that they represent up to date.


      The parties are responsible for filing their arguments and documents.  The IRO answers questions that the parties have and assists the parties to reach a settlement whenever possible.

    • The letter will: 
      • contain a copy of the file that was received from the Labour Program
      • include a case file number
      • include a copy of all documents filed by the applicant
      • inform the parties of the name and contact information of the Board’s IRO who will assist the Board and the parties with the application.  
      • advise the person or organization that the application is against (the respondent): 
        • how much time they have to file a response to the application; and  
        • how much time the applicant will have to reply to any new facts and arguments raised by the respondent.


          The Board will give the parties, including the Labour Program, 15 calendar days to file additional information and documents.  It is not necessary to file information and documents that were included with the application or were in the file that the Labour Program sent to the Board.  The Board already has these documents. 

          The parties, including the Labour Program, will be given 10 calendar days to respond to the additional submissions of the other parties.

    IMPORTANT: If you need more time to file submissions, you need to write to the Board and ask them for an extension. You need to tell the Board why you can’t meet the deadline. If the Board does not allow the extension, it may not consider documents that are filed after that date.

    IMPORTANT: The response should clearly explain the respondent’s version of the facts to the Board and include any documents that they have which are relevant to the application that the applicant did not file. 

    The applicant does not need to file a reply. It is only necessary when the respondent raises new facts or arguments in its response. If you decide not to file a reply, you must tell the Board that you will not be filing one. 

    How do I file my documents, representations, or evidence?

    • All complaints, applications, responses, replies, and supporting documents are filed using the Board’s E-Filing Web Portal.  This is the fastest and most accurate way to file documents with the Board. It is not necessary to send the Board a paper copy of documents that have been e-filed with the Board. 
    • Each party must send all other parties a copy of any document that they file with the Board. This can be done by email, by mail, by registered mail, by courier, or by hand.  
    • When you file documents with the Board, you must tell the Board how and when you sent the documents that you are filing to the other parties. 

    Is the information in my file confidential?

    • Parties who file documents with the Board are participating in a public hearing. This means that the documents that are in the file are available to the public. 
    • If a party is concerned about some of the information that they are filing with the Board being available to the public, that person can ask the Board to issue a confidentiality order. If the request is granted, the information that is protected will not be publicly available. For more information, you can refer to the Board’s Policy on Openness and Privacy or contact the Industrial Relations Officer responsible for your case. 

    Will there be mediation? 

    • Mediation is part of the Board’s process. It is recommended that parties attempt to mediate their dispute. Many of the Board’s files are settled at the mediation stage. Mediation allows the parties to settle the dispute on their terms and resolves the matter faster than if the file has to go to a Board member for a decision.
    • The Industrial Relations Officer assigned to your file will contact you to discuss the mediation options offered at the Board.
    • For more information on the mediation process, please click here

    Will there be a hearing? 

    • Not necessarily. In many cases, the Board can make a decision based on the documents on file, without holding a hearing. This is part of the reason why written submissions should be as complete as possible. This is true even if the parties request a hearing. 
    • If the Board decides to hold a hearing, it will advise the parties of the date, time, and location of the hearing in advance, usually after holding a Case Management Conference. 
    • For more information on the Board’s hearing process, please click here.

    When will I get the decision?

    • The Board will notify you in writing of its decision.  
    • The time that it takes the Board to issue a decision can vary depending on the complexity of the case. 
    • All important decisions of the Board are published on the Decisions page. 
    • You can consult the Board’s performance statistics for more information on the average time it takes the Board to issue a decision after an application is filed.

    What can the Board order if the application is successful?

    • The Board can:
      • confirm (agree with) the decision
      • rescind (overturn) the decision, or 
      • vary (change) the decision 

    Is the Board’s decision final?

    The Board’s decisions are final and can only be reviewed in very specific circumstances.

    • If you believe that a Board decision is unreasonable, you can apply to the Federal Court of Appeal for judicial review; or  
    • If you believe the Board has made a serious error and should correct its original decision, you can file an application for reconsideration.

    In both cases, there is a strict 30 calendar day deadline to file your application from the date of the decision.   

    Follow these links for more information on Applications for Reconsideration and Applications for Judicial Review.