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Federal Post

In the last week, the federal government announced two significant developments which will impact federal workplaces. First, it has made changes to the Canada Labour Standards Regulations to extend the period for recalling employees placed on temporary layoff because of COVID-19…

Human Resources Legislative Update

On June 3, 2020, the federal government announced new measures for the use of face coverings in the transportation sector. The backgrounder states that the use of face coverings will now be required for all employees who cannot maintain a distance of two metres from other workers, or from passengers. The new measures apply to…


On March 19, 2020, the Ontario Legislature met in an emergency session to pass legislation to extend protections for employees in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bill 186, the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020 amends the leaves of absence provisions of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) to provide more leave entitlements to employees impacted by the pandemic and to prohibit employers from requesting medical notes in relation to the new leave.


Today, the Ontario government announced that it will be introducing legislation to amend the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) in light of COVID-19. In addition, the federal government announced, among other things, that the Canadian border will be closed to foreign nationals, with some exceptions.


As we learn more about the Novel Coronavirus (2019-vCoV or Coronavirus), employers will no doubt be contemplating the potential implications of this virus on their workplaces. We have set out below some of the emerging questions that employers may have right now and our answers and guidelines for how to address these issues.


COVID-19 and Workplace Preparedness

· 5 min read

Health officials in Canada have stated that the risk of contracting COVID-19 remains very low. That said, in recent weeks the virus has been top of mind for many, including employers. In this FTR Now, we discuss workplace pandemic planning and operational issues employers should be anticipating in the unlikely event of an outbreak.


Staffing in the fire sector is quickly becoming an emerging topic. Whether it is the minimum staffing provision in a Collective Agreement or the minimum number of firefighters per pumper, both associations and municipalities have been raising these issues at bargaining and interest arbitration. A recent significant case in the fire sector provides some much needed clarity for municipalities. For the first time that we are aware of, an Arbitration Board has decreased a minimum staffing clause.

Case In Point

In its first “gig economy” decision, the Ontario Labour Relations Board (Board) has concluded that Foodora couriers are dependent contractors and therefore may unionize. Foodora is a web services company that provides an online marketplace platform connecting consumers to restaurants, through the use of couriers. Board’s Test for Dependent Contractor Status In Canadian Union of…