The Ontario government is extending protection to prevent temporary layoffs into the new year.
Lambton-Kent Middlesex MPP and Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton and the province say they hope to prevent temporary layoffs from automatically becoming permanent job losses.
The extension has been pushed to January 2nd, 2021 and hopes to give businesses more time to reopen and return to full operations.
Under Ontario labour laws, termination of an employee after 13 weeks of being temporarily laid off triggers costly payouts which, for many businesses, could be the difference between survival and closure. This regulatory amendment delays these terminations and severance liabilities.
“As our government continues to take the necessary steps to safely reopen the economy, we need to protect the businesses and employees impacted by COVID-19.,” says McNaughton. “The cost of termination and severance pay can make it impossible for a business to survive and reopen. That’s why we acted to make sure businesses survive and workers have jobs to come back to.”
This measure does not apply to employees represented by a trade union. The government encourages parties in collective bargaining relationships to work together to resolve workplace issues.
Employees at businesses that have fully reopened continue to have job protection through the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave if they need to stay home to isolate or quarantine or take care of a loved one due to COVID-19. This includes parents who decide not to send their children back to school due to concerns about COVID-19.
Ontario’s unemployment rate in July was 11.3%.