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Ontario introduces job protection measures for COVID-19

Proposed legislation would make it clear that an employee will not be required to provide a medical note if they take the leave.

March 16, 2020   by PLANT STAFF

TORONTO — The Ontario government is introducing legislation that, if passed, would immediately provide job-protected leave to employees in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or day care closures.

The proposed legislation would provide job protection for employees unable to work for the following reasons:

  • Under medical investigation, supervision or treatment for COVID-19.
  • Acting in accordance with an order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
  • In isolation or quarantine.
  • Acting in accordance with public health information or direction.
  • Directed not to work.
  • Needs to provide care to a person for a reason related to COVID-19 such as a school or day-care closure.

The legislation would also make it clear that an employee will not be required to provide a medical note. The measures would be retroactive to Jan. 25, 2020, the date that the first presumptive COVID-19 case was confirmed in Ontario.

Many workers will also be eligible for Employment Insurance sickness benefits. The government is reviewing current access and eligibility to emergency assistance to support individuals who are impacted by the coronavirus and who are not able to meet their basic living expenses.


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