The Ontario Government announced today that the infectious disease emergency leave regulation, in effect during the COVID-19 period, is extended to January 2, 2021.

The Ontario Government filed a new regulation, O. Reg. 492/20 which has extended the COVID-19 period to January 2, 2021. The infectious disease emergency leave, which was the subject of our previous blog posts here and here, will therefore remain operative to:

  • Extend job-protected, unpaid leave to individuals unable to perform their duties due to various reasons related to COVID-19;
  • Deem any employees whose wages have been reduced or whose hours of work have been temporarily reduced or eliminated for reasons related to COVID-19, to be on an infectious disease emergency leave, with effect from March 1, 2020; and
  • Provide that those employees whose wages or hours of work are reduced or eliminated are not considered to be on layoff or to have been constructively dismissed (unless as a result of a permanent discontinuance of their employer’s business at an establishment, or if their layoff became a deemed termination prior to May 29, 2020).

The effect of this extension is that employers’ termination and severance obligations, which would otherwise be triggered after 13 weeks in any 20-week period (or 35 weeks in any 52-week period, provided certain criteria set out in the Employment Standards Act are met) of temporary layoff or in the event of a constructive dismissal, will continue to be suspended until the new year.