More relief for employers offered by the Ontario Government.
This relates to a somewhat obscure aspect of the Employment Standards Act
(ESA) that speaks to temporary layoffs. Thankfully, when times are normal,
this is not usually an issue for dealers, but in these uncertain times many
of our UCDA members have had to lay off staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The problem is, under the ESA (during good times), such a layoff could only
last for 13 weeks in any consecutive 20 week period at which point it could
be considered a permanent layoff. Such layoffs could trigger the need for
employers to pay severance or face claims for wrongful or “constructive”
dismissal in the absence of a written employment contract allowing for such
The Ontario Government has amended a Regulation under the ESA to allow
employers to place employees on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave. This
will ensure businesses aren’t forced to terminate employees after their ESA
temporary layoff periods have expired.
Workers will remain employed with legal protections and be eligible for
federal emergency income support programs while employers will be protected
from costly claims for severance or damages.
The regulatory amendment applies retroactively to March 1, 2020 and will
expire six weeks after the declared emergency ends.
The regulatory amendments do not include employees represented by a trade
The amendment and explanations can be seen HERE