Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit - Q&A Summary - Paid Sick Days/INFECTIOUS DISEASE EMERGENCY LEAVE PAY (IDEL) - Provided by an EMC Member
Paid Sick Days & INFECTIOUS DISEASE EMERGENCY LEAVE PAY (IDEL)
Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) was amended to provide time off (paid or unpaid) for COVID-19 related matter including vaccination.
Q: How many days is an employee entitled to?
A: Total of three (3) paid days from April 19, 2021 until September 25, 2021, unless the employer has a practice, policy or contract in place that would provide the employee with three or more paid sick days during the same period i.e., April 19, 2021 to September 25, 2021.
Leave does not need to be taken in consecutive days.
Q: What happens if an employee takes ½ day?
A: An employee who takes part of a day as paid leave it is deemed to have taken a full day of paid leave. For this reason, employees can similarly elect to have their qualifying Infectious Disease Emergency Leave taken as either unpaid (i.e., for a part / portion of a day) or paid and then as full day.
Q: What constitutes paid-for IDEL leave?
A: Employee is under medical investigation, supervision or treatment related to COVID-19 (which includes taking vaccine or recovering from it).
Employee subject to quarantine, isolate or another control measure implemented as a result of information or direction from public health, qualified medical practitioner or other relevant public authority, including self-isolation.
Employee is under direction from employer in response to a concern of COVID-19 exposure.
Employee is providing care or support of family member suspected to be under supervision/treatment/isolation for COVID-19.
Q: What happens if an employee was off for COVID related issues from April 19-29?
A: The employee may elect to take the day as one of the three paid IDEL days, provided they qualify for this and provided that the employee advises the employer in writing and by no later than May 13, 2021, that they intend to have these days processed as paid leave.
Q: When does an employee receive payment for the IDEL day taken?
A: Payment for IDEL days follow the regular payroll cycle.
Q: What happens an employee take a IDEL on a Public Holiday?
A: If paid leave is taken on a public holiday, the employee is not entitled to premium pay for the paid leave taken.
Q: Who is entitled for IDEL leave?
A: All employees provided they do not qualify for comparable paid-for leave during the period April 19 – September 25. However, where the Company offers paid sick days during this time, this will serve to reduce the employee’s entitlement to be reimbursed paid-for sick leave under this legislation.
- Company offers 3 or more paid sick days – employee is entitled to zero paid-for and reimbursed IDEL days.
- Company offers 2 paid sick days – employee is entitled to one paid-for and reimbursed IDEL days.
- Company offers 1 paid sick day – employee is entitled to 2 paid-for and reimbursed IDEL days.
Q: How much is the employee entitled to?
A: Pay for a leave day is the lesser of:
- $200.00; or
- The wages the employee would have earned if they had not taken the leave.
- Employee would not be entitled to a shift premium and/or overtime pay if they had worked, they are only entitled to the daily rate of up to a maximum of $200.00.
Q: Does the employee need to provide proof?
A: We are entitled to request evidence reasonable in the circumstances (proof of vaccination, direction to isolate, COVID-19 test results).
We cannot ask the employee to provide a medical certificate from a doctor as evidence of their paid day.
Q: What happens if an employee leaves and comes back to work after vaccination appointment? Does this time get paid by WSIB?
A: To alleviate the administrative burden, the employer is entitled to apply the paid-for reimbursed sick days as complete days and therefore time off can be applied and reclaimed as full days. For this reason, it would make sense to enforce this with employees when takin the leave.
Q: Are these three paid days job protected? Can we discipline for their absence?
A: We cannot discipline for these days are they are job protected. If we suspect abuses (long weekend, Fridays), we can request evidence reasonable in the circumstances and this may include written undertaking or attestation by an employee.
Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit
Paid infectious disease emergency leave
On April 29, 2021, the Ontario Government amended the Employment Standards Act, 2000 to require employers to provide employees with up to three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave because of certain reasons related to COVID-19covid 19. This entitlement is in addition to employees’ rights to unpaid infectious disease emergency leave.
Paid infectious disease emergency leave is available for certain reasons related to COVID-19covid 19, including:
- going for a COVID-19covid 19 test
- staying home awaiting the results of a COVID-19covid 19 test
- being sick with COVID-19covid 19
- going to get vaccinated
- experiencing a side effect from a COVID-19covid 19 vaccination
- having been advised to self-isolate due to COVID-19covid 19 by an employer, medical practitioner or other specified authority
- providing care or support to certain relatives for COVID-19covid 19 related reasons, such as when they are:
- sick with COVID-19covid 19 or have symptoms of COVID-19covid 19
- self-isolating due to COVID-19covid 19 on the advice of a medical practitioner or other specified authority
Employers are required to pay employees up to $200 a day for up to three days. The three days do not have to be taken consecutively.