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Emergency Leave from Work Relating to COVID-19

Employment Standards Amendment Act

(Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020


This is the third article in a series of employment related articles by Mirowski Law that will cover work related issues during the pandemic. This is an informational article and not legal advice.


The Ontario government has passed emergency legislation to provide job-protected leave to employees who are in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19 and for those who need to be away from work to care for relatives and children because of school or day care closures. This is a simplified version of that new legislation.


Leaves of Absence without Pay

Employees are entitled to a leave of absence without pay if the employee will not be performing the duties of their position because of the COVID-19. More specifically:

  • Because you have been ordered away from your workplace under section 7.01 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act

  • Because you have been ordered under the Health Protection and Promotion Act or are under individual medical investigation, supervision or treatment related to COVID-19

  • You are in quarantine or isolation or subject to a control measure such as self-isolation which was advised by a physician, Telehealth Ontario, the Government of Ontario or Government of Canada

  • You were ordered by your employer in response to a concern that you may expose other individuals to COVID-19

  • You are directly affected by travel restrictions related to COVID-19 and cannot be expected to return travel to Ontario

  • Because you need to provide care or assistance to:

  1. Your spouse.

  2. A parent, step-parent or foster parent of the employee or the employee’s spouse.

  3. A child, step-child or foster child of the employee or the employee’s spouse.

  4. A child who is under legal guardianship of the employee or the employee’s spouse.

  5. A brother, step-brother, sister or step-sister of the employee.

  6. A grandparent, step-grandparent, grandchild or step-grandchild of the employee or the employee’s spouse.

  7. A brother-in-law, step-brother-in-law, sister-in-law or step-sister-in-law of the employee.

  8. A son-in-law or daughter-in-law of the employee or the employee’s spouse.

  9. An uncle or aunt of the employee or the employee’s spouse

  10. A nephew or niece of the employee or the employee’s spouse.

  11. The spouse of the employee’s grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece.

  12. A person who considers the employee to be like a family member, provided the prescribed conditions, if any, are met.

  13. Any individual prescribed as a family member for the purposes of this section.

Do I need to Provide Proof?

Yes, employers may request reasonable evidence that you are entitled to leave, at a time that is reasonable in the circumstances. The employer may not require an employee to provide a medical certificate from a qualified health practitioner.


How Long does my Leave Last?

You may take the leave as long as you are not performing your duties because of COVID-19 and the reasons above, but the entitlement ends on the day that the reason above no longer applies and/or when the infectious disease is no longer designated by the Ontario government.


For more information about employment related issues, contact info@mirowskilaw.ca

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