01 June 2020 – Ontario extends infectious disease emergency leave for workers

Type of Intervention: Regulation
Sectors Involved: Finance/Economy, Private Sector and Businesses
Intervention Categories: Legal and policy; Regulatory change
Level of Jurisdiction: Ontario
Lead People/Agency: Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training & Skills Development

Overview: The Ontario government announced the enactment of a new amendment to the Employment Standards Act that will put non-unionized employees on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave during the COVID-19 outbreak any time their house of work are temporarily reduced by their employer due to COVID-19 (Bill 186, Employment Standards Act, [Infectious Disease Emergencies], 2020). This helps to ensure businesses are not forced to terminate employees after their temporary lay off periods expire under the Employment Standards Act. As such, businesses will avoid incurring unsustainable costs associated with termination and will allow employees to remain employed with legal protections and remain eligible for federal emergency income support programs.
Full details here: https://news.ontario.ca/mol/en/2020/06/ontario-extending-infectious-disease-emergency-leave-for-workers-during-covid-19.html

Other links: 1
Type of Justification: Advice of INTERNAL government advisory committee or group
Source of Evidence or Justification: National – government, Sub-national, Financial Accountability Office of Ontario
Evidence/Justification: This amendment to the Employment Standards Act is justified by the government as a means to allow workers to remain employed and receive federal income support in addition to avoiding termination costs that could force closure for some businesses. The announcement for this measure cited Statistics Canada, stating that 379,000 Ontario workers were laid off in April 2020. There is no link or citation for this number provided. The announcement also states that the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario estimates that about 2.2. million Ontario employees have been directly affected by pandemic-related shut downs. There is no link or citation for this provided.