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As an employer, is it possible to avoid laying off my employees due to the negative impacts on my business in relation to COVID-19?

On April 11, 2020, the federal government implemented the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”). The CEWS was designed to enable employers to keep their employees on payroll while contributing to…

How long is the COVID-19 period?

Since the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave regulation applies retroactively, the COVID-19 period is considered to be in effect from March 1, 2020, and will expire on January 2, 2021. If…

It has been 13 weeks since my temporary layoff and I have not been recalled. Has my employment been terminated?

In most cases, thirteen (13) weeks is the maximum allowable duration for a temporary layoff under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (“ESA”). Absent a recall, at the end of the thirteen…

Can an employee request vacation during the temporary layoff period?

Yes. An employee may request to take vacation time during a temporary layoff.  An employee that requests vacation time is entitled to be paid their full remuneration throughout the vacation…

I have been temporarily laid off. Am I entitled to receive payment for my accrued but unused vacation?

No. When an employee is temporarily laid off, the employment relationship remains intact and continues throughout the layoff period. Given this, employers do not have to pay their employees for…

I have been re-called to work. Can I refuse to return?

Generally speaking, you cannot refuse to return to work unless your refusal is based on a legitimate ground. For example, if you return to work and there is no personal…

My employment has been terminated in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Do I still need to keep looking for work to be entitled to a full termination package?

Yes. Employees who have had their employment terminated have a duty to make efforts to find another job, and thereby reduce their “damages”. These efforts are measured on the standard…

If I agree to a temporary layoff during the COVID-19 pandemic, does that mean my employer can lay me off in the future?

It is possible for you to agree to a temporary layoff, even if it does not form a part of your employment contract. To be legal, if an employee agrees…

I have been temporarily laid off, but I was never told that I could be laid off and my contract makes no mention of layoff. What can I do?

Employers in Canada do not have an unlimited right to lay off their employees. The biggest reason for this is Canadian courts believe employees should be provided with income support…