MAJOR CHANGE – Ontario’s state of emergency does not constitute a layoff under the ESA

For those of you that had staff lay-offs without benefits, and were watching the 13 week mark fast approaching, where the Ontario ESA would normally require severance to be paid…you can relax a bit.

The Ontario government has made some changes to try and protect employers so there is a better likelihood of having a job to come back to. An article is below from Laura Williams and a government link with details.

Ontario Extending Infectious Disease Emergency Leave for Workers during COVID-19

New Regulation will protect employees from permanent layoffs and businesses from potential closures

On May 29, 2020, the Ontario government published a new Regulation, O. Reg. 228/20: Infectious Disease Emergency Leave, under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”).

The Regulation will have a dramatic impact on Ontario employers impacted by COVID-19. It is important to note, however, that the changes outlined below do not apply to unionized employees.