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Ontario Extends Deemed Infectious Disease Emergency Leave to July 2021

December 23, 2020

On December 17, 2020, the Government of Ontario announced that the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave regulation will be extended to July 3, 2021. The regulation was previously set to expire on January 2, 2021. 

Under the amended regulation, non-unionized employees whose hours of work are temporarily reduced or eliminated by their employer for reasons related to COVID-19 are automatically deemed to be on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave. The reduction or elimination of hours/wages will not constitute a layoff or a constructive dismissal under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) until after the regulation expires on July 3, 2021.

Effective July 4, 2021, employees will no longer be deemed to be on the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave and the ESA’s regular rules regarding constructive dismissal and temporary layoff will resume.

In light of this amendment, non-union employees who are currently on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave and cannot be returned to work by January 2, 2021, will no longer have to be placed on a temporary layoff.

For more information on the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave, please see our June 2020 Blakes Bulletin: Ontario Introduces Deemed Leave of Absence in Connection with COVID-19.

For further information or any questions regarding how this amendment may impact your business, please contact a member of our Employment & Labour group.

Please visit our COVID-19 Resource Centre to learn more about how COVID-19 may impact your business.