Recent Notices to Members
ACSESS: Ontario Government Provides Temporary Relief from ESA Termination and Severance Provisions in Response to COVID-19
Ontario Government Provides Temporary Relief from ESA Termination and Severance Provisions in Response to COVID-19
On Friday, May 29, 2020, the Ontario government published a new regulation under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) that is intended to provide temporary relief from the ESA’s termination and severance provisions for employers whose operations have been shut down or otherwise curtailed by COVID-19 – O. Reg. 228/20, Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL Regulation).
In this FTR Now, we will review the primary means by which the government has accomplished its goal, and some key limitations that apply. Most notably, the new rules providing relief from the ESA’s termination and severance provisions do not apply to unionized employees. Rather, the ESA’s usual temporary layoff rules will continue to apply in unionized workplaces.
There are three basic components in the IDEL Regulation by which the government’s goal is achieved: (1) changes to infectious disease emergency leave (IDEL); (2) deeming certain employees not to be on layoff; and (3) deeming certain actions not to be a constructive dismissal.
We will review the scope of each of these in turn. In our review, we will be referring to a “COVID-19 Period,” which is a new defined term in the IDEL Regulation and which runs retroactively from March 1, 2020 to the date that is 6 weeks after the date that the state of emergency in Ontario comes to an end.
COVID-19: Resource Centre
Hicks Morley is diligently monitoring and assessing the impact of the pandemic on your workplace and your workforce.
To support you during these challenging times, we have created a dedicated COVID-19 Resource Centre. It includes:
- Up-to-date articles by our legal team analysing recent legislative and regulatory developments
- Frequently asked Questions and Answers for employers
- Links to government resources
Whether you are contemplating temporary layoffs or work reassignments, addressing work refusals, navigating operating restrictions, analysing minimum standards obligations across various jurisdictions or looking to act on the various financial relief measures now available, your regular Hicks Morley lawyer is here to help.