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Ontario Extends COVID-19 Period to July 3, 2021

December 18, 2020 Employment and Labour Bulletin < 1 minute read

The Ontario government has updated its regulations under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) to further extend Ontario’s “COVID-19” period to July 3, 2021. The previous extension was set to expire on January 2, 2021.

The COVID-19 period is found in Regulation 228/20, which contains measures that give employers the ability to implement temporary layoffs or wage reductions, without triggering a constructive dismissal under the ESA, in response to the pandemic. Instead, affected employees are placed on deemed infectious disease emergency leave for the duration of the COVID-19 period – now extended to July 3, 2021. McMillan’s employment group detailed the impact of Regulation 228/20 in August.

Take away

The further extension of the COVID-19 period provides additional relief for employers that have been required to reduce wages or lay employees off because of the pandemic. Employers who currently have employees on layoff, or who have reduced hours or reduced pay, can continue with the status quo. However, as we have previously advised, such employers should remain mindful that the standard layoff periods under the ESA will take effect in July 2021. Employers should continue to evaluate whether they will be in a position to recall or reinstate the previous terms and conditions of employment at that time.

by Kyle Lambert

A Cautionary Note

The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained.

© McMillan LLP 2020

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