COVID-19 Tip #17: Ontario Extends Infectious Disease Emergency Leave

Ontario extended the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave until January 2, 2021. This has implications for non-unionized employees (and their employers) whose hours of work or wages have been temporarily reduced or eliminated due to COVID-19.

More specifically, from March 1, 2020 to January 2, 2021, non-unionized employees:

  • are deemed to be on job-protected infectious disease emergency leave if their employer has temporarily reduced or eliminated their hours of work for reasons related to COVID-19;
  • are not considered to be laid off if their employer temporarily reduces or eliminates their hours of work or wages for reasons related to COVID-19; and
  • are not considered to be constructively dismissed under the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 if their employer temporarily reduces or eliminates their hours of work or wages for reasons related to COVID-19.

Employees deemed to be on a temporary COVID leave of absence (and their employers) who have stopped participating in (or contributing to) a benefit plan as of May 29, 2020 are exempt from benefit continuation requirements from March 1, 2020 to January 2, 2021.

For further information on temporary layoffs in other provinces, see: COVID-19 Tip #14: Temporary Lay-offs.

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