Royal Assent Received, Bill 186 & Bill 187 for Ontario

Updated: Apr 12, 2020

In light of recent events, both the Federal and Provincial Government have made quick amendments to the ESA and various other legislation. Here is a brief look at what legislation has been introduced and updated during the current COVID19 outbreak.



March 19, 2020, Bill 186, Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020, was introduced to address emergency leave for employees in case of infectious disease emergencies. The Emergency Leave Act has been renamed to: Emergency Leave: Declared Emergencies and Infectious Disease.

An employee is entitled to a leave of absence without pay if the employee will not be performing the duties of their position. Examples of this include:

a) An emergency declared under section 7.0.1 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act b) An order that applies to the individual made under section 7.0.2 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act or Health Protection and Promotion Act c) The individual needs to provide care or assistance to an individual referred to in subsection 8 or because of other reasons prescribed. d) One or more of the following reasons related to a designated infectious disease where the employee is:

  • Under an individual medical investigation, under supervision, or receiving medical treatment.

  • Acting according to an order under section 22 or 35 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

  • In quarantine, isolation, or is subject to a control measure, implemented as a result of information or directions issued to the public, in whole or in part, or to one or more individuals, by a public health official, a qualified health practitioner, a municipal council or a board of health, Telehealth Ontario, the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, whether through print, electronic, broadcast or other means.

  • Given direction by the employer expressing concern that the employee may expose other individuals in the workplace.

  • Caring for or providing support to an individual referred to in subsection (8) because of a matter related to the designated infectious disease that concerns that individual, including, but not limited to, school or day care closures.

  • Directly affected by travel restrictions related to the designated infectious disease and cannot reasonably be expected to travel back to Ontario.

  • Directed by other reasons as prescribed


The following sections have been amended:

Evidence of entitlement, declared emergency

An employer may require an employee who takes leave under clause (1.1) (a) to provide evidence reasonable in the circumstances and within a reasonable timeframe, confirming the employee is entitled to the leave.

Evidence of entitlement, infectious disease emergency An employer may require an employee who takes leave under clause (1.1) (b) to provide evidence reasonable in the circumstances and within a reasonable timeframe, confirming the employee is entitled to the leave, but shall not require an employee to provide a certificate from a qualified health practitioner as evidence.

Limit, declared emergency An employee is entitled to take a leave under clause (1.1) (a) for as long as they are not performing the duties of their position because of an emergency declared under section 7.0.1 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and a reason referred to in subclauses (1.1) (a) (i) to (iv), but, subject to subsection (6), the entitlement will end on the day the emergency is terminated or disallowed.

Limit, infectious disease emergency

An employee is entitled to take a leave under clause (1.1) (b) starting on the prescribed date and for as long as, they are not performing the duties of their position because of a reason referred to in subclauses (1.1) (b) (i) to (vii); and the infectious disease is designated by the regulations for the purposes of this section.

Care, assistance, support

Specified individuals has been amended and (8) subclauses (1.1) (a) (iii) and (1.1) (b) (v) apply with respect to the following individuals:

  • The employee’s spouse.

  • A parent, step-parent or foster parent of the employee or the employee’s spouse.

  • A child, step-child or foster child of the employee or the employee’s spouse.

  • A child who is under legal guardianship of the employee or the employee’s spouse.

  • A brother, step-brother, sister or step-sister of the employee.

  • A grandparent, step-grandparent, grandchild or step-grandchild of the employee or the employee’s spouse.

  • A brother-in-law, step-brother-in-law, sister-in-law or step-sister-in-law of the employee.

  • A son-in-law or daughter-in-law of the employee or the employee’s spouse.

  • An uncle or aunt of the employee or the employee’s spouse.

  • A nephew or niece of the employee or the employee’s spouse.

  • The spouse of the employee’s grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece.

  • A person who considers the employee to be like a family member, provided the prescribed conditions, if any, are met.

  • Any individual prescribed as a family member for the purposes of this section.


Other Amendments

Section 141 of the Act has been amended to add subsection 2.0.3.3, which is:

The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations providing for any transitional matter that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable in connection with the implementation of the amendments made by the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020.


Section 141 (2.1, 2.2 and 2.3) have been amended to address different types of employment, conditions, benefits, the duration of the emergency and the regulation could be retroactive.


For the complete details of Bill 186 please visit:

https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-186


Bill 187, Municipal Emergency Act, 2020

On March 19, 2020, Bill 187, Municipal Emergency Act, 2020 was introduced to amend the Municipal Act, 2001 and the City of Toronto Act, 2006. These Acts have been amended in the following ways:

The Municipal Act, 2001 and the City of Toronto Act, 2006 have been amended so that during emergencies, the opinions expressed by members of councils, local boards and committees who participate electronically during open and closed meetings are considered when changes to legislation are needed. Bill 187 specifically amends the Municipal Act, 2001, to allow the Lieutenant Governor in Council to impose limits and conditions on the powers of municipalities when regulations are made under section 129 of the Act.


For the complete details of Bill 187 please visit:

https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-187



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