Update: Ontario extends the COVID-19 deemed leave of absence period
On September 3, 2020, the Government of Ontario filed a regulation extending until January 2, 2021 the job-protected Infectious Disease Emergency Leave that was originally scheduled to end on September 4, 2020. Non-unionized employees whose hours of work are temporarily reduced or eliminated by their employer due to COVID-19 prior to January 1, 2021 are automatically placed on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave.
The primary reason for the extension is to permit businesses to delay automatic terminations and severance payments due to lay-offs exceeding the maximum period permitted under the Employment Standards Act, 2000. As stated in the August 2020 News & Views, the deemed leave may also require employers to offer pension and benefit coverage during the leave period, unless pension and benefit coverage ceased prior to May 29, 2020.