Ontario Government Introducing Job Protection Legislation due to COVID-19 Outbreak

On Monday March 16, 2020, the Ontario government announced its intention to introduce legislation that will amend the Employment Standards Act by protecting jobs for employees who are unable to work due to COVID-19. More specifically, the legislation would provide immediate job-protected leave for those employees who are in isolation or quarantine because of the virus, as well as those who require time off work to look after their children due to school or day care closures.

If passed, the legislation would provide job protection to employees who cannot work because:

  • The employee has been placed under medical investigation, supervision or treatment due to COVID-19;
  • The employee is abiding by an order pursuant to the Health Protection and Promotion Act;
  • The employee is in isolation or quarantine;
  • The employee is abiding by public health information or direction;
  • The employee has been directed not to work by their employer; and
  • The employee is required to look after others for reasons related to COVID-19, including the closure of schools or day cares.

As well, the proposed legislation would mandate that workers need not produce a medical note in the event that they require leave from work.

These protective measures would be retroactive to the date of January 25, 2020.

If you have any questions about this topic or any other questions relating to workplace law, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.

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