Do You Have Employees Who Have Been Temporarily Laid Off Or Have Had Their Hours Reduced?
Employees who are covered by the Employment Standards Act (ESA) have been on the government’s amended Infectious Disease Emergency Leave to help extend the period of time employees can be on a temporary layoff while the economy weathers the COVID-19 pandemic.
What does the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave mean for employees and employers?Between March 1, 2020 To January 2, 2021
- An employee whose employer has temporarily reduced or eliminated their hours of work for reasons related to COVID-19 is deemed to be on the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave.
- An employee is not considered to be laid off if their employer temporarily reduces or eliminates their hours of work or wages for reasons related to COVID-19.
- An employee is not considered to be constructively dismissed under the ESA if their employer temporarily reduces or eliminates their hours of work or wages for reasons related to COVID-19.
Beginning On January 3, 2021
- Employees will no longer be on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave.
- The ESA’s regular rules around constructive dismissal resume. This means a significant reduction or elimination of an employee’s hours of work or wages may constitute a constructive dismissal—even if it was done for reasons related to COVID-19.
- The ESA’s regular rules around temporary layoffs resume. For practical purposes: an employee’s temporary layoff clock resets on January 3, 2021. An employer will have 13 weeks to bring back their employees after this date or they will have to be considered terminated and the employer will have to proceed with termination payments.
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Have your revenues dropped due to COVID-19?
Many small businesses are struggling to stay afloat and cover their fixed costs, such as rent and insurance, while taking a negative impact on their revenues. Government assistance has emerged to help businesses pay for their rent, but many have had their fate put into the hands of their landlords to apply for the assistance. The new Canadian Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) is being introduced to provide rent relief for businesses and allows these businesses to apply to the assistance directly as opposed to waiting for their landlords to do so. What is the CERS and how does it work for small businesses?
- Rent and mortgage support available until June 2021 for qualifying organizations impacted by COVID-19
- Funds go directly to the business, not the landlord
- Can cover up to 65% percent of eligible expenses until December 19 2020
- Businesses are able to make claims retroactively for the period that began September 27 and ends October 24, 2020
- A top-up CERS of 25% for businesses temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority—in addition to the 65% subsidy,—grants up to 90% of coverage for the hardest hit businesses!
START TAKING ACTION
You should be planning for what you should do with employees who are on the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave. Our EIO Experts can help guide you through the rules of temporary layoffs and help you avoid costly legal liabilities.
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