The last week has seen numerous announcements and regulatory changes as the Ontario government continues to ease restrictions and permit more businesses to resume their operations. Effective June 19, 2020, Durham, Haldimand-Norfolk, Halton, Hamilton, Lambton, Niagara and York have been moved to Stage 2.
In a series of announcements and regulatory changes from last week, the Ontario government provided guidance on the reopening of postsecondary education in the province. The developments reviewed in this FTR Now apply to universities, colleges of applied arts and technology, private career colleges and other postsecondary institutions.
On April 25, 2019, the Ontario government announced that it would be providing temporary pandemic pay to frontline workers fighting COVID-19. At the time, we observed that there were some key unknown elements about pandemic pay that required further direction from the government.
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.
On May 13, 2020, the Ontario government issued an order (O. Reg. 210/20, Management of Long-Term Care Homes in Outbreak) (Order) made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act which is intended to provide long-term care homes with additional assistance in managing COVID-19 outbreaks.
On May 8, 2020, the Ontario government filed Ontario Regulation (O. Reg.) 205/20 – Education Sector (Order) made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act which applies to all school boards within the meaning of the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, 2014 in Ontario.
There have been two developments this week in relation to pandemic pay: a temporary amendment to Bill 124, the Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019 (Bill 124) and the publication of a page entitled “COVID-19: Temporary pandemic pay” on the government website. However, key details, including how pandemic pay is to be operationalized, have yet to be announced. We therefore continue to advise employers to wait for the government to communicate this information before taking steps to implement any form of pandemic pay.
On May 1, 2020, the Ontario government made a new temporary emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act which gives Hospitals more flexibility in respect of their credentialing processes.
In an award dated May 4, 2020, Arbitrator Stout addressed, among other things, critical aspects of the CMOH’s Directives respecting access to and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). In this HR HealthCheck, we provide an overview of this significant award (Award), a decision of notable impact to health care providers and health care workers alike, in both the Hospital and Long-Term Care sectors.
On May 1, 2020, the Ontario government made a new temporary emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act which authorizes certain persons access to provincial electronic health records.