Ensuring a Successful Return to Work in a COVID-19 World

As governments start lifting orders and directives made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (or similar legislation in other jurisdictions), it is understandable that employers and employees alike are anxious to return to their ‘pre-COVID-19 normal’. However, in order to ensure a successful return to work during the largest pandemic in modern history, it is crucial that employers turn their minds to the unique labour and employment issues created by COVID-19 and reopen with a solid return to work plan in place.

Employees Who Continue to Work from Home – Practical Considerations for Employers

As provinces begin to roll out reopening plans for non-essential businesses, the logistical challenges of implementing social distancing in some workplaces mean that many employees will continue to work from home for the foreseeable future. As companies consider which employees will be asked to return to the workplace, and when, the legal considerations and risks associated with work from home arrangements should be taken into account.

Further Measures Announced in Relation to COVID-19

Late last week, the Ontario government amended a number of measures already introduced in light of COVID-19. It updated the “COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool” to include an expanded list of symptoms for which self-isolation is required. It made further orders under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act regarding health care, an expanded list of essential workers eligible for child care and seasonal campgrounds. The federal government provided more information on initiatives already underway, including with respect to the eligibility requirements for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

COVID-19 and Long-Term Care – Ontario Government Imposes “Single-Employer” Rule for Long-Term Care Employees

On April 14, 2020, the Ontario government issued an Emergency Order (Order) pursuant to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) which relates specifically to staffing issues in Ontario’s long-term care sector. The Order, O. Reg. 146/20, Limiting Work to a Single Long-Term Care Home, creates immediate obligations for both long-term care employers and employees working in long-term care homes. Once the requirements of the Order are met, the Order will effectively impose a “single-employer” rule for employees in this sector, preventing them from working for more than one Health Service Provider or retirement home until the Order is lifted.

Federal Wage Subsidy Legislation Passed

On April 11, 2020, Bill C-14, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, No. 2, (Bill C-14), received Royal Assent after another emergency session of Parliament. Bill C-14 enacts the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). It includes new details about which employers are eligible, and the calculation of gross revenue and the subsidy. On the same date, the federal government also updated its backgrounder describing the CEWS, reflecting the final form of the legislation.

Advantage CPD: Going Viral – COVID-19 Advice for Employers

As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada continues to rise, so too are the challenges that employers are facing across the country. Join us for a one-hour webinar as our presenters answer frequently asked questions and provide information on some of the key issues affecting employers with respect to the virus.