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Published on: 16 Apr 2020 By

Answering employers’ COVID-19 medical note and leave questions

Employees that self-isolate because they have COVID-19 must have a doctor’s note saying they have recovered and can return to work: True or False? It depends. Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act requires employers to take every “reasonable precaution” necessary to protect their work…

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Published on: 13 Apr 2020 By

The basics of the federal government wage subsidy programs

With each passing day during the COVID-19 pandemic, there seem to be more programs, lists and rules to be aware of. It can feel overwhelming to keep it all straight, so this blog will focus on the Federal Government’s two wage subsidy programs: the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy and the 75% Cana…

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Published on: 9 Apr 2020 By

EI Work Sharing: A Potential Option for Employers and Employees

With the decrease in economic activity in the wake of COVID-19, some businesses are resorting to layoffs to reduce operating expenses. But there is an alternative to layoffs that many businesses are not aware of – and one which may reduce some of the traditional risks of layoffs: the Work-Sh…

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Published on: 9 Apr 2020 By

COVID-19 exposure in the workplace: will WSIB approve the claims?

Are workers entitled to WSIB benefits if they contract COVID-19 at work? The answer, in some circumstances, is yes.   The WSIB has stated that workers will be entitled to benefits for COVID-19 “arising out of and in the course of the worker’s employment”; this is simply a reflection of the s…

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Published on: 6 Apr 2020 By

Leaves, layoffs, and furloughs – what are the differences? What are the risks?

Perhaps you thought that recent whipsawing between two revisions to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) in one year was confusing. In my humble opinion, that was nothing compared to the deluge of acronyms and information flooding employers in this COVID-19 world. If it feels like thin…

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Published on: 6 Apr 2020 By

Canada Emergency Response Benefit: a primer for employers

Please note that since this blog was published, there have been further changes made to the CERB program, summarized here. As such, this blog may no longer be fully updated/accurate. Most employers are aware that the Federal government has introduced wage subsidy programs, described in more …

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Published on: 4 Feb 2020 By

Coronavirus – Employers’ Frequently Asked Questions

With health experts proclaiming that the Wuhan Novel Coronavirus (i.e., the “Coronavirus”) is likely to become a pandemic, Canadian employers should prepare for the worst and plan how to respond to various employment-related issues that could arise if the virus continues to spread. With that…

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Published on: 20 Jan 2020 By

When is an investigation “appropriate in the circumstances”?

Every investigator has had one of “those” files. Allegations are abundant, historical, and/or about things like “he walked past me once without speaking to me.” Can an investigator refuse to look into allegations if they are ancient? What if they wouldn’t constitute harassment even if they c…

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Published on: 16 Jan 2020 By

Are employees “off-ramping” from your organization?

When employees experience personal trauma, challenging transitions in the workplace, difficult relationships with managers, etc., some of them will choose to “off-ramp,” a term referring to those who voluntarily resign or reduce their working hours. Many employers will be familiar with an em…

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