THE EMPLOYERS' EDGE
COVID-19 UPDATE for Ontario – Important Regulations under the EMCPA
Although there has been a flurry of legislation passed since this all began a month ago (stay tuned for our “Month in Review” Blog), with the filing of a number of new regulations in the last couple of days we wanted to highlight some of the most relevant and newest regulations directly affecting labour relations and employment in Ontario.
The government has passed a number of regulations allowing designated entities to take staffing and deployment measures that are reasonably necessary to respond to, prevent and alleviate the COVID-19 outbreak. For example, these regulations provide the ability to fill any staff positions with individuals who, in the entities reasonable opinion, has the adequate skills, training and knowledge to perform the duties required of that position without regard for certain staffing requirements set out in any existing statutes, regulations, orders, policies, arrangements or agreements, including collective agreements. These regulations include:
- O. Reg. 157/20: Work Deployment Measures for Municipalities, which applies to every municipality within the meaning of the Municipal Act, 2001 in which an emergency is or has been declared under section 4 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act by the head of the municipality’s council. However, the regulation generally does not apply to firefighters, ambulance services, waste and drinking water facilities or boards of health.
- O. Reg. 121/20: Service Agencies Providing Services and Supports to Adults with Developmental Disabilities, which applies to every “service agency” as defined in the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008.
- O. Reg. 118/20: Work Deployment Measures in Retirement Homes, which applies to every retirement home and licensee within the meaning of the Retirement Homes Act, 2010.
- O. Reg. 116/20: Work Deployment Measures for Boards of Health, which applies to every board of health within the meaning of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
- O. Reg. 95/20: Streamlining Requirements for Long-term Care Homes, which applies to any “licensee” within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007.
- O. Reg. 77/20: Work Deployment Measures in Long-Term Care Homes, which applies to health service providers within the meaning of paragraph 4 of subsection 1(2) of the Connecting Care Act, 2019 and health service providers within the meaning of paragraph 5 of subsection 1(2) of the Connecting Care Act, 2019 but only in relation to long-term care homes they maintain.
- O. Reg. 74/20: Order Made Under Subsection 7.0.2(4) of the Act [Hospitals], which applies to “health service providers” within the meaning of paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of subsection 1(2) of the Connecting Care Act, 2019. Most notably, this applies to a person or entity that operates a hospital within the meaning of the Public Hospitals Act, or a private hospital within the meaning of the Private Hospitals Act. Refer to our previous blog here for more information.
Currently, these regulations are in force until April 23, 2020.
In addition, the government has passed the following applicable regulations:
- O. Reg. 145/20: Work Deployment Measures for Service Agencies Providing Violence Against Women Residential Services and Crisis Line Services, which applies to service agencies funded by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services that deliver: (a) residential or emergency residential services under the Violence Against Women Support Services program, or (b) provincial crisis line services under the Violence Against Women Support Services program.
- O. Reg 146/20: Limiting Work to a Single Long-Term Care Home: applies to health service providers within the meaning of paragraph 5 of subsection 1(2) of the Connecting Care Act, 2019 only in relation to long-term care homes the health service provider maintains. The effect of the regulation is to, beginning at 12.01 a.m. on Wednesday April 22, 2020, limit employees of long-term care providers working in one long-term care home from working in any other long-term care home, health service provider, or retirement home at the same time.
- O. Reg. 140/20: Agreements Between Health Service Providers and Retirement Homes: prevents any agreement between a health service provider and the licensee of a retirement home who have, in response to the emergency, agreed to have the retirement home provide alternative space, accommodation or care services for current or former patients of the health service provider from:
- affecting whether either entity is considered a hospital under the Hospital Labour Disputes Arbitration Act;
- impacting whether the entities are treated as constituting one employer for purposes of the Labour Relations Act; and
- considering the health service provider to have sold part of its business to the retirement home for the purposes of the Labour Relations Act.
- O. Reg. 106/20: Extensions and Renewals Orders: extending the application of previously made orders from their original revocation dates until April 23, 2020.
- O. Reg. 82/20: Closure of Places of Non-Essential Businesses: ordering the temporary closure of places of non-essential business. Refer to our blog here for further information.
If you need to know how you are affected by, or have questions about, any of the above regulations – or anything else related to the Declared Emergency and its effects on your business – the team at CCPartners is here to help.
Register now for our upcoming Webinar: CCPartners and MNP Team Up for Free COVID-19 Workplace Webinar.
Don’t delay – space is limited and spots are filling up! Join us on Tuesday April 21, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. for a complimentary webinar that is a must-attend for employers navigating the COVID 19 pandemic. Hear from legal and accounting experts about ways to manage your workforce, contain liability and access much-needed government relief programs. We will cover an array of topics including the following:
- Understanding the various job protected leaves, how they intersect during the COVID-19 crisis and your obligations as an employer.
- Exploring ways to manage staff costs and work reductions without triggering additional obligations or constructive dismissals.
- Reviewing various government relief programs and how they may impact your workplace planning.
Participants will also be given the opportunity to ask questions of our panelists.
We look forward to spending time with you on April 21, 2020.
Please register HERE.