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Paid IDEL Extended In Ontario; Deemed IDEL Is Over – Employee Rights/ Labour Relations



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On July 21, 2022, the Ontario government filed new regulations
amending Ontario Regulation 228/20 (O. Reg. 228/20), resulting in
the extension of paid Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL)
until March 31, 2023. As a result, Ontario
employers are obliged to continue to provide employees with up to
three days of paid leave if the employee is unable to work for
reasons related to COVID-19. Employees in Ontario are currently
entitled to IDEL if they are required to be absent from work for
any of the following reasons:

  1. The employee is under individual medical investigation,
    supervision or treatment;

  2. The employee is subject to an order of a medical officer of
    health or a court under the Health Protection and Promotion
    Act
    ;

  3. The employee is in quarantine or isolation or subject to a
    control measure, including self-isolation;

  4. The employer directs the employee to stay at home because of
    concerns that the employee might expose other individuals in the
    workplace to the designated infectious disease;

  5. The employee is providing care to specified family or household
    members (including providing care to minor children in the event of
    closures of schools and daycares); or

  6. The employee is directly affected by travel restrictions
    preventing the employee from returning to Ontario.

Employers will continue to be eligible to submit claims for
reimbursement of up to $200.00 per day of paid IDEL (to a maximum
of three days per eligible employee) to the Workplace Safety and
Insurance Board.
Detailed information on how to submit a claim can be found
here.

The extension of the paid IDEL program did not include
“deemed IDEL, which ended on July 30, 2022. As of July 30,
2022, employees are no longer deemed to be on IDEL where their
hours of work are temporarily reduced or eliminated by the employer
for reasons related to COVID-19. Instead, the termination and
severance rules under the Employment Standards Act, 2000
(the ESA) related to layoffs will once again apply. In addition,
any such temporary reductions in wages or hours will no longer be
deemed not to be a constructive dismissal under the
ESA.

For a refresher on “deemed IDEL,” please see our
previous Insight
. For a discussion on how the prohibition on
constructive dismissal claims actually played out in wrongful
dismissal litigation, please see
this article
.

It is important to note that, although “deemed IDEL”
is no longer in effect, employees are still entitled to access an
unpaid, job protected IDEL over and above the three days of paid
IDEL. IDEL will remain available to Ontario employees as long as
the province continues to designate COVID-19 as an infectious
disease within the meaning of O. Reg. 228/20. Currently, there is
no scheduled expiry date for this designation.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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