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Small Business Resources

Small business is the backbone of our local economy.

Commercial Rent Relieft Program

COVID-19: Rent assistance for small businesses. Learn about the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses and the support you may be eligible for.

Temporary Layoff Reprieve Extended to July 3, 2021

The Ontario government has decided to again extend the permissibility of temporary layoffs until July 3, 2021 with an extension of the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL) provisions until that time.

Earlier this summer the provincial government introduced legislation to effectively ‘stop the clock’ from ticking on temporary layoffs and also gave employers the latitude to implement things like a temporary reduction in hours or a reduction in wages.

As we reported at that time, the unilateral implementation of these measures might otherwise bring claims of “constructive dismissal”. However, these protective measures neutralized those arguments as far as the Employment Standards Act is concerned at least.

Those protections would have ended January 2, 2021. With this extension, you can continue to have employees “not at work” until at least July 3, 2021 without the need to pay termination amounts under the Employment Standards Act (ordinarily required where a layoff exceeds 13 week, or 35 weeks when benefits are continued).  This continuation is welcomed news for employers who have not yet been able to return staff to work, and means their employees can stay connected to their workplaces. 

It should be noted that this extension only protects layoff action under the ESA. Technically an employee could still consider remedies under common law though these actions may continue to be the exception given the still uncertain prospects for employment in the longer term. More developments are expected in the New Year.