#Ontarioi; #IDEL; #Covid19Outbreak; #NonUnionizedWorkers; #LegalProtection; #CECRA
Toronto, Jun 2 (Canadian-Media): A new regulatory amendment was announced June 1 by the Ontario government to put non-unionized employees on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL) during the COVID-19 outbreak any time their hours of work are temporarily reduced by their employer due to COVID-19, media reports said.
Ontario Government. Image credit: Twitter handle
379,000 Ontario workers were temporarily laid off in April 2020, an increase of 2,496 percent compared with the previous year, said Statistics Canada.
It was estimated by the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario that about 2.2 million Ontario employees were directly affected by pandemic-related shutdowns, through either job losses (1.1 million), temporary layoffs or sharply reduced hours (1.1 million) in 2020.
New Regulation will not only protect non-unionized employees with reduced hours or temporary layoffs from permanent layoffs as they would be deemed to be on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave, as well as also protects businesses from potential closures.
Under the Employment Standards Act terminations can result in costly payouts when temporary layoffs exceed the permitted length which can lead to difficult survival of the businesses or even their closure.
Many businesses had to close or reduce operations to comply with emergency orders necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The new regulation, applicable retroactively to March 1, 2020 and expire six weeks after the declared emergency ends, not only protects the businesses from potential closure, it will also legally protect the jobs of these employees ensures their eligibility for federal emergency income support programs.
The regulatory amendments are not applicable to employees represented by a trade union.
Financial support of billions of dollars to people and businesses is being provided by the government by its deferrals and relief measures including deferring $1.9 billion in Workplace Safety and Insurance Board premium payments until August 31, 2020, $10 billion in interest and penalty relief, and other deferrals to improve cash flow, protect jobs and help household budgets.
In addition, by partnering with the federal government, the province is also providing commercial rent relief for commercial tenants and landlords through the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program.