Coronavirus: Mandatory Closure of Non-Essential Businesses

What the closure means for affected employees.

March 24, 2020

The Ontario Government has ordered the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces by today at 11:59 p.m. and it will remain in effect for 14 days.  This has raised several questions for employees of these businesses who are left wondering what they’re supposed to do.

If your business can, and has not done so already, it may continue operations with employees working from home.  It is important to discuss this type of option with your employer to see if you are able to do so.

If your business cannot allow employees to work remotely, employees are entitled to a Declared Emergency Leave under the Employment Standards Act, 2000.  This means that as an employee you are entitled to job protection via this unpaid leave of absence.

If you are on a Declared Emergency Leave of absence because of the order, you are entitled to receive your usual benefits so long as you continue to pay your portion of the premium, if applicable. You should then immediately apply for regular Employment Insurance benefits as income.

Ertl Law can help you if you have questions regarding your rights as an employee and/or your options as an employer.  We offer a free consultation over the phone toll free at 1-888-222-6184 or 416-572-9900.

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