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The Toronto Order

The Toronto class order made pursuant to Section 22 (5.0.1) of the Health Protection and Promotion Act (“Toronto Order“), which can be found here, requires owners, operators or occupiers of a business to notify Toronto Public Health via the online COVID-19 Workplace Reporting Tool as soon as they become aware of 5 or more COVID infections in the workplace within a 14-calendar-day period. The Toronto Order grants discretion to the City to order a full or partial closure of the workplace, or shift/work area mass dismissal, when there has been 5 or more confirmed or probable COVID cases within a 14-calendar-day period. Once closed, the owners, operators and/or occupiers of a workplace cannot attend the workplace unless necessary to:

  • comply with any applicable laws;
  • allow for inspections, maintenance and repairs to be carried out;
  • allow for security services to be provided;
  • to deal with critical matters relating to the closure of the workplace if they cannot be done remotely; and
  • access materials, goods, or supplies that may be necessary for the business or organization to continue to operate remotely.

Continue Reading Toronto and Peel Region Public Health Release Orders Requiring Closure of Businesses with 5 or More COVID Infections

On April 7, 2021, in response to a rise in COVID-19 infections, the Ontario government declared a third provincial emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, and has issued a second Stay-at-Home-Order (“Order“), effective Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. The new Order is fundamentally the same as Ontario’s last Stay-at-Home Order, but comes on the heels of the province-wide “emergency brake” which came into effect on April 3, 2021.

Ontario’s new measures affect many Ontario employers. The Order does not amend the list of essential businesses which are permitted to continue operating, but the government will increase inspections and enforcement by health and safety inspectors and provincial offenses officers at essential businesses, particularly in regional hot zones.Continue Reading New Measures for Ontario Employers: Ontario Declares Emergency and Implements Second Stay-at-Home Order

To ensure Ontario employers are up-to-date, we outline two new developments affecting businesses operating during the COVID-19 pandemic below, including:

  • the implementation of enhanced COVID-19 outbreak protocols for workplaces in the City of Toronto; and
  • revisions to the COVID-19 screening tool required for Ontario employees.

Continue Reading COVID-19 Update: Ontario Screening Requirements & Toronto Workplace Outbreak Protocols

This is an update to our recent blog post summarizing Ontario’s required COVID-19 workplace screening tool for businesses.

To recap, the Ontario Government requires most Ontario businesses and organizations to implement particular workplace screening questions, requiring workers and essential visitors to complete a medical questionnaire before entering the workplace each day. These requirements have been established under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.

Ontario recently updated the workplace screening questions for businesses. You can find the updated questions here. The new version of the screening tool can be completed either online or on-site before the worker enters the workplace.
Continue Reading Ontario Revises COVID-19 Workplace Screening Requirements for Businesses

Earlier this summer, several Ontario municipalities established bylaws requiring businesses to ensure masks or face coverings are worn by the public in enclosed public spaces (see our earlier article here). On October 3, 2020, the Ontario government amended the Rules for Areas in Stage 3, O Reg 364/20 (the “amended regulation”), establishing similar requirements for most Ontario businesses, summarized below.

Who Must Wear Masks or Face Coverings?

Generally speaking, businesses and organizations must ensure that anyone located in an indoor area within their premises, or within a vehicle that is operating as part of the business or organization, wears a mask that covers their mouth, nose, and chin.Continue Reading Ontario Amends Mask and Face Covering Requirements for Businesses

The Ontario Government now requires most Ontario businesses and organizations to implement a workplace screening tool that requires staff members and essential visitors to complete a medical questionnaire before entering the workplace each day. This new requirement is established under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 and became effective on September 26, 2020.
Continue Reading New COVID-19 Workplace Screening Requirements for Ontario Businesses

The Ontario Government amended a previous regulation to extend deemed infectious disease emergency leave (“IDEL”) under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) until January 2, 2021.

This is an update to our previous blog post, Ontario Files New ESA Regulation Affecting COVID-19-Related Leaves, Temporary Layoffs & Constructive Dismissals, where, on May 29, 2020, the Ontario Government filed a new regulation changing the rules regarding employee eligibility for IDEL, temporary layoffs and constructive dismissals under the ESA. The regulation retroactively “deems” non-union employees who were not performing their duties, working reduced hours, or receiving reduced wages (at the employer’s behest) to be on IDEL.

Previously, the regulation dealt with the time period beginning March 1, 2020 and ending “six weeks after the declared emergency ends.” The Government has called this the “COVID-19 Period.” However, the Ontario Government has now extended this “COVID-19 Period” to January 2, 2021.Continue Reading Ontario Amends ESA Regulation Affecting COVID-19-Related Leaves, Temporary Layoffs & Constructive Dismissals by Extending COVID-19 Period

Starting July 7, 2020, the City of Toronto will require businesses to ensure masks or face coverings are worn by the public in their enclosed public spaces.

Key Takeaways
  • The City of Toronto’s bylaw will come into force on July 7, 2020. It is currently set to expire on or about October 1, 2020, but may be extended.
  • The new bylaw will generally apply to all indoor spaces within the City of Toronto that are openly accessible to the public. The bylaw will not require individuals to wear masks or face coverings in workplaces that are not openly accessible to the public will not be required.
  • A list of public spaces exempted from the bylaw can be found here: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-what-you-should-do/covid-19-orders-directives-by-laws/mandatory-mask-or-face-covering-bylaw/
  • Under the bylaw, there are exceptions for individuals who are unable to wear a mask or face covering for medical reasons, and for children under two years old. There are further exceptions for individuals who are, for example, eating a meal or engaging in athletic or fitness activity.

Continue Reading Many Municipalities Make Masks Mandatory