On November 20, 2020, the Ontario government filed two regulations that allow point-of-care testing for COVID-19 to take place outside of laboratories and permit an expanded list of healthcare professionals to perform COVID-19 testing. The regulations came into effect on November 20.
On November 19, 2020, the Ontario government announced that it is launching a series of education and enforcement campaigns (“inspection blitzes”) to ensure Ontario businesses are taking the necessary steps for the safety of employees, consumers and the public in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaigns have been developed in consultation with local health…
On October 20, 2020, Ontario introduced Bill 218, Supporting Ontario’s Recovery and Municipal Elections Act, 2020. If passed, it would enact The Supporting Ontario’s Recovery Act, 2020 (Act) which provides protection for persons from liability for actions related to COVID-19. It would also remove the framework in the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 providing for ranked ballot elections for municipal council officers. As of today’s date, the Bill is at Second Reading in the Ontario legislature.
The federal government has implemented a suite of new income support benefits, including adjustments to the Employment Insurance (EI) system, to address the ongoing economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the end of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
On October 14, 2020, the Department of Finance Canada released its latest backgrounder regarding the CEWS. The Extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy backgrounder (Backgrounder) summarizes a number of new and recently announced changes to the CEWS, including the extension of the CEWS to June 2021.
Effective October 10, 2020, Ottawa, Toronto and Peel Region are subject to the Rules for Areas in Stage 2 as modified by O. Reg. 572/20 (Modified Rules) as a result of the increase in COVID-19 cases in these areas. The Office of the Premier has advised that the Modified Rules will be in place for a minimum of 28 days and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.
In this edition of the HR Healthcheck, we discuss the newly revised Directive #5 issued by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) with respect to personal protective equipment use in public hospitals and long-term care homes. We also discuss a new regulation filed under the Personal Health Information Protection Act which expands administrative responsibilities under that statute. Finally, we mention Ontario’s recent announcement limiting visitors to long-term care homes in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region.
On October 1, 2020, the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) dismissed four appeals which alleged that Ministry of Labour (MOL) inspectors had refused to inspect and / or issue orders to the Ministry of Education (MOE) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to correct alleged deficiencies in the province-wide, MOE-issued, school safety guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic. The appeals were filed by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association, the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, and L’Association des enseignantes en enseignants franco-ontariens (collectively, the Unions).
Ontario has again revised its Rules For Areas In Stage 3 (Rules) in light of the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in Ontario. The new rules include a province-wide mandatory masking requirement and additional restrictions for Ottawa, Toronto and Peel Region Public Health Units (defined as the “Enhanced Measures Zone”). The changes came into force on October 3, 2020.
The Ontario government has announced that Ontario employers are now required to apply a COVID-19 screening test to employees and essential visitors before they enter the workplace.