As COVID continues, we are getting more questions from employers dealing with employees working remotely. A few things to keep in mind if you have employees working remotely out of the country:
- Employees must maintain provincial health coverage (e.g. OHIP) to be entitled to benefits
- Employees away for 183+ days/year must request and be granted an extension by OHIP
- Employers are responsible for the safety of their employees at work (OHSA)
- This can by extension encompass the employee working from home or elsewhere
- This might extend to ensuring that there are smoke and CO detectors installed and functioning
- Employees working from home could be considered in a WSIB workplace (if mandated)
- Employers are expected to be aware of tax considerations for staff working in a foreign country
- Employees could possibly face double taxation requirements if working in the US for example.
The issue of WSIB coverage was highlighted in the legal case below. Though this is Quebec, I think we will see more of these in the coming years as more people work remotely.
If you have questions on staff working remotely (out of Canada), please call us, and consider speaking to your HR professional, and/or accountant/ tax expert, and/ or employment lawyer to see if there are any concerns that could effect you or the employee.
A recent Quebec labour ruling found that an employee who sustained an injury while working from home was entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.