As we previously highlighted, on May 29, 2020, the Province of Ontario enacted Ontario Regulation 228/20, Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL Regulation), under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). The IDEL Regulation retroactively reclassified any temporary layoff that occurred during the COVID-19 Period as an infectious disease emergency leave (IDEL). On June 4, 2021, the Ontario government amended the IDEL Regulation to define the “COVID-19 Period” as the period between March 1, 2020, and September 25, 2021. As a result of this extension, nonunion employees with reduced or eliminated work hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic were considered not to be on layoff under the ESA, but instead continue on deemed IDEL.
Now, as the COVID-19 pandemic lingers and continues to affect employers and employees, especially in light of the delta variant, on September 16, 2021, the Ontario government extended the temporary relief measures from the termination and severance provisions of the ESA until January 1, 2022. As such, the temporary measures found in the IDEL Regulation have been amended to define the “COVID-19 Period” as the period beginning on March 1, 2020 and ending on January 1, 2022.
We summarized the Ontario temporary relief measures in our prior blog post and have highlighted and updated our analysis here.