Infectious Disease Emergency Leave Extended to January 1, 2022

Pursuant to O. Reg. 650/21: Infectious Disease Emergency Leave, the Government of Ontario has extended the “COVID-19 period” under O. Reg. 228/20: Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (the “IDEL Regulation”) until January 1, 2022.

The “COVID-19 period” now means the period beginning on March 1, 2020 and ending on January 1, 2022.

During the “COVID-19 period”, employees who are not represented by a trade union are deemed to be on infectious disease emergency leave under section 50.1 of the Employment Standards Act, 2000, where they cannot perform the duties of their position because their hours of work are temporarily reduced or eliminated by the employer for reasons related to COVID-19.[1]

Moreover, the IDEL Regulation provides that an employee whose hours of work are temporarily reduced or eliminated by their employer, or whose wages are temporarily reduced by their employer for reasons related to COVID-19 will not be considered to be laid off.[2] The IDEL Regulation also sets out that the following does not constitute constructive dismissal if it occurred during the “COVID-19 period” (March 1, 2020 to January 1, 2022):

  1. A temporary reduction or elimination of an employee’s hours of work by the employer for reasons related to the designated infectious disease.
  2. A temporary reduction in an employee’s wages by the employer for reasons related to the designated infectious disease.[3]

This update is part of our continuing efforts to keep you informed about the COVID-19. Watch our COVID-19 hub and our McCarthy Tétrault Employer Advisor blog for further updates, including in-depth analysis of emergency legislation in Ontario, federally, and in other jurisdictions. If you need assistance, please reach out to any member of our National Labour & Employment Team whenever you need to.

[1]Infectious Disease Emergency Leave, O Reg 228/20, s. 4(2).

[2]Infectious Disease Emergency Leave, O Reg 228/20, s. 6(1).

[3]Infectious Disease Emergency Leave, O Reg 228/20, s. 7(1).

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