Ontario Government Announces Extension of Temporary Relief from ESA Termination and Severance Provisions

On Thursday, September 3, 2020, the Ontario government announced that it would be extending the temporary relief measures from the termination and severance provisions of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) until January 2, 2021. The temporary measures are found in Ontario Regulation 228/20, Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL Regulation), and had been set to expire today (September 4, 2020). The IDEL Regulation has been amended to define the “COVID-19 period” as that period beginning on March 1, 2020 and ending on January 2, 2021

Details of Extensive Changes to Employment Insurance and Canada Emergency Response Benefit Announced

In the latest evolution of the federal government’s response to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, on August 19, 2020, amendments to the Employment Insurance Act (EI Act) were published and, on August 20, 2020, the government announced new measures to support affected Canadians who continue to be unable to work due to COVID-19.

Ontario (Again) Updates Its COVID-19 Self-Assessment

Ontario employers who are planning for an eventual return to work have been keeping a close eye on the province’s COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool (Tool). The Tool directs Ontarians to self-isolate in certain circumstances. This is important because it relates to employers’ Occupational Health and Safety Act duties and their duty to provide statutorily-protected leaves under the Employment Standards Act, 2000.

Comprehensive Overview of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy – July 2020 Update

On July 27, 2020, the federal government passed Bill C-20, An Act respecting further COVID-19 measures (Bill C-20), which amends the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) first enacted in April 2020 with Bill C-14, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, No. 2 (Bill C-14). Since April, there have been a number of changes to the CEWS. Bill C-20 implements the modified rules for the CEWS program that apply from June onward.

In this FTR Now we provide a comprehensive summary of the CEWS, including the new details of the CEWS extension to December 19, 2020, and we incorporate content from our previous firm communications dated March 30, 2020, April 2, 2020, April 9, 2020, April 13, 2020, and April 20, 2020.

Bill 195 Passes: Declared Emergency Will End But Emergency Orders Will Continue

On July 21, 2020, Bill 195, Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 received Royal Assent. The Ontario government has announced that the new Act will be proclaimed in force on July 24, 2020. As set out in greater detail in our FTR Now of July 15, 2020, this means that the COVID-19 declared emergency will come to an end on July 24, 2020.

Ontario Extends Declared Emergency to July 24, 2020

Further to our FTR Now of July 15, 2020 in which we outlined the changes proposed by Bill 195, Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2000, it has come to our attention that by motion in the Legislature on July 13, 2020, the Ontario government extended the declared emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) to July 24, 2020.

Ontario Introduces Bill to Continue Emergency Orders After the Declared Emergency Ends

Premier Ford recently signaled that he is hopeful another extension of the declared emergency made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) will not be needed. Presumably to this end, on July 7, 2020, the government introduced Bill 195, Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2000 (Bill 195) which, if passed, will enable it to continue Orders made under sections 7.0.2 or 7.1 of the EMCPA even after the declared emergency comes to an end.

Ontario Issues Orders Relating to Stage 3 Reopening: What You Need to Know

On July 13, 2020, the Ontario government filed two Orders made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act regarding Stage 3 of the reopening of the province. The first Order, Stages of Reopening, is a new regulation that identifies which regions of the province are at Stage 1, 2 or 3 of the reopening plan.