Following the general decline in business for most organizations and the mandatory closure of all non-essential businesses, many employers have had to temporarily layoff some or even all of their workforce. Employers have been growing increasingly concerned about exceeding the looming 13-week threshold that triggers (in many cases) the deemed termination provisions under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) and the associated financial liability.
Ontario has introduced a novel approach to address the temporary layoff dilemma by providing temporary relief from the ESA’s termination and severance provisions for employers whose operations have been impacted by COVID-19. Generally, changes have been made to the ESA temporary layoff rules by deeming that non-unionized employees are not on layoff where their hours of work have been temporarily reduced or eliminated, or whose wages have been temporarily reduced, for reasons related to COVID-19 during the COVID-19 period. Further, an employee is deemed to be on ESA Infectious Disease Emergency Leave in respect of any time during the COVID-19 period where the employee does not perform their duties because their hours of work have been temporarily reduced or eliminated due to COVID-19.
Join Kecia Podetz and J.D. Sharp as they explain the new Regulation, its benefits and limitations, and how it will affect your workforce, including: