Ontario’s new regulation addresses COVID-19-related employment reductions and layoffs

Businesses face wide-ranging issues as the world responds to the COVID‑19 pandemic. Here is the latest guidance from Torys.

Employers have had to confront difficult decisions in the face of COVID-19 shutdowns. For many employers, especially those offering non-essential services, the reductions in employee hours or wages—and in some cases, layoffs—have raised real risks of constructive dismissal claims under the Employment Standards Act (ESA). New regulation introduced last Friday by the Government of Ontario addresses these concerns and will likely serve as welcome relief for certain Ontario employers.

In our latest guidance, we discuss the details of the new regulation, the scope of the statutory protection afforded to employers, and the expected outcome of COVID-19-related constructive dismissal complaints under the ESA.

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