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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…

HR HealthCheck

Management Rights, Sick Leave under HOODIP and More

· 10 min read

In our first HR Healthcheck of 2020, we discuss two cases you need to know about. The first deals with whether a scheduled medical procedure under conscious sedation falls within the “sick leave” provisions of HOODIP. The second case considers management rights under the central CUPE collective agreement and a Hospital’s right to transfer employees.

FTR Quarterly

FTR Quarterly – Issue 15

· 13 min read

In This Issue: Protection in the Face of Employee Fraud, Key Human Resources Decisions in in 2019 and Cases to Monitor in 2020 and more!


In this FTR Now, we look at the amendments made to the Bill and their impact on collective bargaining and non-union wage review activities that may have occurred since the Bill was first tabled. We also discuss the government’s recently announced plan regarding “designated executives” under the Broader Public Sector Executive Compensation Act, 2014 (BPSECA).