Job Security During COVID-19 Pandemic
Updated: Mar 30
UPDATE MARCH 30, 2020: The legislation contemplated in this article has been passed by the Provincial Legislature, and has now become law. Click here to see our most recent article about the changes to the Employment Standards Act.
The Ontario Government announced its intention to table legislation that will ensure individuals cannot be terminated for taking time off to self isolate, quarantine, or to care for children due to school closures. While full details of this legislation (SEE UPDATE) have yet to be released, Premier Ford and the Minister of Labour, Monte McNaughton, unveiled amendments to the Employment Standards Act, which include:
Protections from termination for employees who self isolate or are in quarantine while they exhibit symptoms;
Waiving an employer's requirement for a Doctor's note before leave is approved;
Protections from termination for employees who are required to stay home to care for young children as a result of recently announced school and daycare closures;
Changes will be retroactive to January 25 - the date the first case of COVID-19 was identified in Ontario; and
Changes will remain in place for an indeterminate period of time, but until "the disease is defeated."
The Employment Standards Act is the seminal piece of legislation that governs employee-employer relations outside of the union context. The union-employer relationship is governed by the Ontario Labour Relations Act and the Canada Labour Code (depending on whether the union job is regulated by the Provincial or the Federal Government).
The ESA is meant to establish minimum worker protections for things like vacation, time off, and working hours.
As more details are unveiled and the legislation gets tabled, we will update you will specifics.
Related Questions and Posts:
If I stay home to self-isolate, quarantine, or to watch my kids, will I get paid? Click here to find out more.
I can't get EI. Will I still get paid if I stay home? Click here to find out more.
Do I have to pay my mortgages and bills if I lost my job, or if I'm in self-isolation, quarantine, or staying home to watch my kids? Click here to find out more.
I am a business owner. What supports will I have to stay open and meet payroll? Click here to find out more.