Human Resources Legislative Update
Ontario Again Updates its Screening Tool for Workers
Date: March 3, 2021
On February 26, 2021, the Ontario government made minor revisions to its “COVID-19 Screening Tool for Businesses and Organizations (Screening Workers).”
The screening questions now ask if the person using the tool is experiencing “one or more” of the listed symptoms (previously, it was “any one” of the listed symptoms).
More significantly, the screening questions now ask if, “in the last 14 days, have you [the worker] or anyone you live with travelled outside of Canada?” If the party is exempted from the federal quarantine requirements, then the answer “no” may be entered.
However, if the worker answers “yes” to this question (i.e. either they or someone they live with have travelled outside Canada within 14 days), they should not enter the workplace and should immediately go or stay home to self-isolate and contact their health care provider or Telehealth Ontario.
The screening questions also now ask if “anyone you [the worker] live with [is] currently experiencing any new COVID-19 symptoms and/or waiting for test results after experiencing symptoms.”
If the answer to this question is “yes”, the worker must be advised to “stay home until the sick individual gets a negative COVID-19 test result, is cleared by their local public health unit, or is diagnosed with another illness.”
Employers are reminded that the screening tool provides advice, recommendations and instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and employees required to stay home in accordance with the screening tool are entitled to an Infectious Disease Emergency Leave under the Employment Standards Act, 2000.
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