Torkin Manes (Toronto/Ontario): Province of Ontario Introduces Amendments to the Employment Standards Act to Protect Workers During the COVID-19 Crises

The Federal and Provincial Governments continue to respond to the COVID-19 crises that has affected Ontarians. Changes in legislation, policies, and recommendations are being presented almost daily.

On March 19th, 2020, the Province introduced new legislation, the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020. The amendments supplement and replace certain provisions (described in our publication on March 19, 2020) that came into effect under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) after the Province declared a state of emergency (which gave rise to employees’ ability to seek leaves of absence after making a request for a declared emergency leave to their employer).

The most recent amendments broaden the circumstances in which an employee can take a leave of absence. In essence, the amendments seek to ensure that, regardless of the reason for the employee having to miss work due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the employee will be entitled to a job protected leave of absence. The amendments are in addition to the emergency leave for declared emergencies that were already in effect under the ESA, and the job protection is retroactive to January 25th, 2020.

Read full article here.

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