On March 23, 2020, Ontario Premier Doug Ford ordered that that all non-essential stores and services be closed by Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.. This follows a series of orders made by the provincial government, pursuant to its powers under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, made in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect Ontarians during these unprecedented times.
Many employers wish to avoid layoffs during this unprecedented economic climate. An option for employers is to work with their employees to create alternative employment arrangements. Work-Sharing is one program available to employers and employees that can accommodate a temporary reduction in business activity due to events beyond the control of the employer, such as COVID-19.
On March 19, 2020, in response to the measures imposed on employers and businesses by the government to curb the spread of COVID-19, Bill 186, titled “An Act to amend the Employment Standards Act, 2000” (the "Bill") received Royal Assent from the provincial legislature. Emergency Leave under the Employment Standards Act (the “Act”) now includes both declared emergencies and infectious disease emergencies.
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