Employees are entitled to three days (you read that right; “days” not “hours”) of paid leave for reasons related to designated infectious diseases, which includes COVID‑19 (“Paid Statutory Leave”).
Employees are paid the lesser of $200 per day and the wages they would have received if they had not taken the leave (a special calculation applies to “performance related wages”).
The Paid Statutory Leave is available to employees who require time off work, among other things, to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. This is similar to employees in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. However, the Paid Statutory Leave is broader. It may also be available in a number of other prescribed circumstances, including the following example scenarios: an employee requires time off work to take a COVID-19 test and await the results of the test;
an employee is directed by their employer to self-isolate due to the employer’s concern that the employee may expose others at work to COVID-19;
an employee requires time off work to self-isolate while sick with COVID-19;
an employee is experiencing a side effect from a COVID-19 vaccination; or
an employee requires time off work to provide care to one of the “specified individuals” in section 50.1(8) of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) – like a spouse, child and other listed individuals – for one of the specified reasons related to COVID-19.
While the Ontario government has provided employees with a right to a Paid Statutory Leave under the ESA, an employee’s entitlement may be reduced if, on April 19, 2021, the employee is entitled to take paid leave under an employment contract in any of the circumstances for which the employee would also be entitled to take the Paid Statutory Leave. In addition and depending on the circumstances, an employee might not be entitled to the Paid Statutory Leave if the employee’s contract already provides a greater right or benefit. Some employers may qualify for reimbursement by the government for this Paid Statutory Leave. The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is handling the reimbursement process for the government.