December 8, 2021by Israel Foulon LLP
The Deemed IDEL Period Extended to July 30, 2022
The Infectious Diseases Emergency Leave (“IDEL”) provisions under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“the ESA”), which were scheduled to end on January 1, 2022, have been extended to July 30, 2022. We have previously addressed this matter in several E-Bulletins, most recently on September 17, 2021, when IDEL was last extended. You can review the September 17, 2021 E-Bulletin HERE.
The ESA’s regular rules around constructive dismissal and temporary layoffs will resume on July 31, 2022, unless the government further extends the leave (as it has previously done on several occasions). For practical purposes, this means that an employee’s ESA temporary layoff clock will start to run unless the employee is recalled to work effective on or before July 30, 2022.
There remains uncertainty as to the effect of the temporary deemed IDEL under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and common law constructive dismissal claims. To date, there have been conflicting decisions on this issue, and we expect that appellate courts will release decisions on this topic in the coming months. Most recently, the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development has requested to intervene in the hearing of an appeal on this topic (scheduled for April 2022), to assist in interpreting the ESA and IDEL regulation and the impact on the ability to claim constructive dismissal at common law.
We recommend that you seek legal advice if you have concerns about how to manage your business and your workforce, before the end of the IDEL Period.
Extension of COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave
The Ontario government has also extended the temporary amendments to the ESA regarding COVID-19 paid sick days to July 31, 2022. The Worker Income Protection Benefit requires employers to provide employees with paid leave of up to $200 per day (less if the employee’s regular rate of pay is under $200 per day) for up to three (3) days because of certain reasons related to COVID-19. Eligible employers will be permitted to apply to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) for reimbursement within 120 days of the paid leave, or by April 30, 2022 (whichever is earlier). We have previously written about this matter in detail in an E-Bulletin on May 3, 2021. You can review the May 3, 2021 E-Bulletin HERE. You can access the Worker Income Protection Benefit online submission form HERE.
You can also review the Ontario Newsroom press release HERE regarding the extension of both COVID-19 paid sick days and IDEL.
Israel Foulon Wong’s Response to COVID-19 Israel Foulon Wong LLP is assessing the situation as it evolves, and is taking all necessary precautions within its workplace. To slow the spread of COVID-19 and for the health of our team and clients, absent extraordinary circumstances we are working remotely until further notice whenever possible. However, please be aware that our offices remain open and are fully functioning. In the circumstances, we encourage our clients to contact us by phone and email to the extent possible. Voicemail messages left at our office phone numbers are immediately forwarded via email. All messages will be promptly responded to. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our clients and would be more than happy to assist you with concerns regarding COVID-19 or any other employment or labour matters.