Have you been relying on Ontario’s infectious disease emergency leave (IDEL) to scale back or eliminate your employees’ hours without resorting to temporary layoffs or terminations? If so, you should IMMEDIATELY review your employment contracts (if any) as the protection of ‘deemed IDEL’ comes to an end.
As part of the recent changes to the IDEL regulation this month, Ontario stated the ‘deemed’ IDEL expiry date will be July 30, 2022. This expiration means that starting on Sunday, July 31, 2022, non-unionized employees in Ontario who have either been laid off or have been working reduced hours during the COVID-19 Periodfrom March 2020 to July 30, 2022, as defined in the regulation, will no longer be ‘deemed’ to be on job-protected emergency leaves of absence under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA).
What does this mean?
For any dentist still relying on ‘deemed’ IDEL to scale back or lay off staff members after July 30, the expiry of the ‘deeming’ period may expose you to constructive dismissal claims. If you currently have (or suspect you have) employees on ‘deemed’ IDEL, and they do not have proper, up-to-date written contracts in place, you should touch base with them about a scheduled return as soon as possible.
For more information on the IDEL regulations or an employer’s responsibilities during the pandemic, please refer to our Employment Law Changes & Updates section for the latest announcements in provincial and federal policies.
Or you can contact us directly. DMC is dedicated to helping dentists understand and minimize the risks associated with being an employer. So send us an email or call our employment team at 416-443-9280.