Employers are beginning to find it difficult to differentiate between COVID-19 sick leave and regular. How do they compensate? Do they have to compensate? It can be very confusing.
Read below for our HR Solutions teams summary of the COVID-19 updates top the IDEL and a link to the forms and process released by the government of Ontario.
Under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 in Ontario, Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (“IDEL”) has been in place since April 2021. Employees can receive up to three days of paid IDEL until July 31, 2022, if they are not entitled to paid leave under their employment contract (such as paid sick days). Employees must meet specific criteria to be eligible for paid IDEL:
- The employee is under individual medical investigation, supervision or treatment related to a designated infectious disease. The medical investigation, supervision or treatment can be in Ontario or in another province, territory, or country.
- An employee is not performing the duties of their position because they are under the medical supervision of a doctor:
- due to having contracted COVID-19; or
- because of mental health reasons relating to COVID-19.
- An employee is not performing the duties of their position because they left work in order to get a COVID-19 vaccination or are experiencing a side effect from the COVID-19covid 19 vaccination. In both of these situations, the employee is under individual medical treatment (which includes preventative actions, such as vaccinations and recovery from associated side effects) related to COVID-19.
- The employee is following a COVID-19 related order issued under section 22 or 35 of the Health Promotion and Protection Act.
- The employee is in quarantine, isolation (voluntary or involuntary), or is subject to a control measure, and the quarantine has been directed by a health official.
- The employee is under a direction given by their employer in response to the employer’s concern that the employee might expose other individuals in the workplace to a designated infectious disease.
- The employee is providing care or support to a dependent because the individual is sick with COVID-19 or needs to be in isolation.
Employers may apply for repayment up to $200/day per employee. This funding is through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (“WSIB”) and requires an application (either individual or bulk) be submitted. Currently, there is nothing in this new legislation that requires the Employer to be registered with the WSIB in order to be eligible for reimbursement for the paid IDEL days.
The process and application form can be found here: https://ontario-covid19-worker-income-protection-benefit.ca/en This program has also been extended to support any absences until July 31, 2022 with applications being accepted until November 28, 2022.
Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Wilkinson HR Solutions team for help!