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Ontario Extends Support for Employers and Employees Impacted by COVID-19

Ontario Extends Support for Employers and Employees Impacted by COVID-19

On September 3, 2020, the Ontario government news release was made to protect jobs and businesses by extending protection with the aim to prevent temporary layoffs from automatically becoming permanent job losses. This extension will last until January 2, 2021. 

Under the normal rules, a temporary layoff will be deemed a termination after:

  • 13 weeks, if no payments or benefits are continued; or
  • 35 weeks, if certain payments or benefits are continued

Under Ontario labour laws, termination of an employee after 13 weeks of being temporarily laid off triggers costly payouts which, for many businesses, could be the difference between survival and closure. This regulatory amendment delays these terminations and severance liabilities and this means more flexibility for employers in Ontario.

Employees at businesses that have fully reopened continue to have job protection through the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave if they need to stay home to isolate or quarantine or take care of a loved one due to COVID-19. This includes parents who decide not to send their children back to school due to concerns about COVID-19.

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