Employers must be aware of the recent amendments to the Ontario Employment Standard Act with the passing of Bill 284: COVID-19 Putting Workers First Act, 2021 on April 29th, 2021. This Bill provides three days of paid leave for employees for reasons relating to COVID-19. Employers must be aware of these new infectious disease emergency leave considerations.
On March 25, 2020, Health Minister Patty Hajdu announced an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act, which would legally require any person (with the exception of “essential workers”), who arrived in Canada (by air, sea, or land), to place themselves into self-isolation (i.e., self-quarantine) for a period of 14 days, in order to prevent further spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The Public Health Agency of Canada also issued a press release relating to the Emergency Order on the same day. Further details regarding the Emergency Order appear below.
The spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been the dominating news topic of 2020 so far. Canadian health officials maintain that, at this point, the risk of contracting COVID-19 remains low in all parts of Canada. However, it is important for employers to be prepared to respond as COVID-19 continues to develop both in Canada and globally.