Amendments under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 to extend Infectious Disease Emergency Leave for Workers during COVID-19
O. Reg. 228/20
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Employment Standards Act, 2000
Summary of Decision:
Ontario recognizes the impact the COVID-19 outbreak has had on the province and is taking necessary steps to help ensure that as the economy gradually and safely reopens workers will have jobs to return to and businesses will be protected from incurring unsustainable termination costs.
Ontario enacted a new regulatory amendment that will put non-unionized employees on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave during the COVID-19 outbreak any time their hours of work are temporarily reduced by their employer due to COVID-19.
This new regulation allows employers and employees to avoid unwanted termination, to keep businesses alive and make sure workers have jobs to go back to.
Without this change, businesses affected by COVID-19 may have had to terminate employees instead of keeping them employed.
Specifically, O. Reg. 228/20 affects how the termination, severance and constructive dismissal rules under the ESA apply during the COVID-19 period:
- Under the new regulation, an employee is not considered to be laid off if their employer temporarily reduces or eliminates their hours of work for COVID-related reasons. Instead, the employee is deemed to be on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave.
- Under the new regulation, an employee is not considered to be constructively dismissed under the ESA if their employer temporarily reduces or eliminates their hours of work or wages for COVID-related reasons.
These temporary rules apply retroactively to March 1, 2020 and will expire six weeks after the declared emergency ends.
These temporary rules do not apply to employees represented by a trade union.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
Summary of Proposal:
Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development
14th Floor, 400 University Avenue,
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1T7
May 29, 2020