On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Ontario government issued a second Emergency Order to specifically address the Long-Term Care Homes sector (O. Reg 95/20: Streamlining Requirements for Long-Term Care Homes).
On Monday, March 23, 2020, the Ontario government issued an Emergency Order granting Ontario Health Service Providers broad authority to take all reasonable steps necessary to staff as needed to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The government has now taken two significant steps to grant similar authority to Long-Term Care home providers and Municipal Homes for the Aged to address the staffing issues which may arise due to the emerging pandemic.
On March 23, 2020 Premier Doug Ford announced that effective 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, all non-essential businesses will be ordered to close for 14 days, and possibly longer. This order is made further to the emergency declared on March 17, 2020 under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Here is what employers need to consider now.
With a single Order, Ontario Health Service Providers have been given broad authority to take all reasonable steps necessary to staff as needed to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Details of this Order, which came into effect the evening of Saturday, March 21, 2020, are set out below.
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.
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.