Covid-19 and Infectious Disease Emergency Leave

Covid-19 and Infectious Disease Emergency Leave

The Ontario government amended their regulations to change the impact of employee termination and constructive dismissal. The Ontario Government deems this amendment to have come into force from January 25th 2020, with retroactive application.  The purpose of this amendment was to ensure “workers will have jobs to return to and businesses will be protected from incurring unsustainable termination costsas the economy is gradually re-opened.

This permitted length being, in summary:

  • 13 weeks in a 20 consecutive week period or  
  • A period of more than 13 weeks in a 20 consecutive week period but less than 35 weeks in a 52 consecutive week period as long as certain conditions are followed.

Regulation 228/20’s impact on employees  

The government is creating a new category of employees who will not have to work during the pandemic. This new regulation will help to protect the jobs of those who are most vulnerable during this pandemic. It is important that we all do our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19

If an employer has reduced your hours, you will still receive payments and benefits according to the new Regulation. If you have your pay decreased before May 29, 2020, you may still be able to file a constructive dismissal claim.

Though if this seems difficult, that’s because it is! Whether you have any concerns regarding your work, you should get legal advice.

Regulation 228/20’s impact on employers  

Employers must continue to contribute to benefit plans unless an employee has stopped participating in a benefit plan as of May 29, 2020.

As stated above, a reduction in hours or wages during the COVID-19 period may not constitute constructive dismissal. This law prevents employees from being able to claim constructive dismissal and stay in their job if they want.

An employee however could claim a common law constructive dismissal. The Supreme Court of Canada established the test for constructive dismissal. A deemed IDEL would not automatically provide a defence for employers. 

The new amendments hope to make it easier for businesses to reopen and employees to have jobs.

If you are looking for more information on employment law, contact an Employment Lawyer. You can reach our office at 905-366-0202 or contact us through our website here.

We highly discourage anyone from seeking out legal advice through this article. This article only provides general information and should you require assistance, please contact us to book a free initial consultation.

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