Update-Support for Employees and Employers

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Ontario Extends Support for Employers and Employees Impacted by COVID-19

The Ontario government is helping protect jobs and businesses by extending protection to prevent temporary layoffs from automatically becoming permanent job losses. Although Ontario is now in Phase 3 of reopening, this extension will give businesses more time to reopen and return to full operations. This extension will last until January 2, 2021. 

Under Ontario labour laws, termination of an employee after 13 weeks of being temporarily laid off triggers costly payouts which, for many businesses, could be the difference between survival and closure. This regulatory amendment delays these terminations and severance liabilities.

“As our government continues to take the necessary steps to safely reopen the economy, we need to protect the businesses and employees impacted by COVID-19.,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “The cost of termination and severance pay can make it impossible for a business to survive and reopen. That’s why we acted to make sure businesses survive and workers have jobs to come back to.”

Quick Facts

  • Termination and severance obligations can create a significant financial burden for business. For example, a restaurant with 30 employees could be liable for termination payments as high as $100,000.
  • This measure does not apply to employees represented by a trade union. The government encourages parties in collective bargaining relationships to work together to resolve workplace issues.
  • Ontario’s unemployment rate in July was 11.3%.
  • Employees at businesses that have fully reopened continue to have job protection through the Infectious Disease Emergency Leaveif they need to stay home to isolate or quarantine or take care of a loved one due to COVID-19. This includes parents who decide not to send their children back to school due to concerns about COVID-19.

Ontario Providing In-Demand Skills Training to Over 15,000 People

The Ontario government is providing $37 million to help more than 15,000 people train for new jobs and upgrade their skills to enable them to contribute to the province’s economic recovery. The funding will support 86 projects and provide training in high-demand skills like information technology, advanced manufacturing, truck driving, construction, and horticulture. The programs include internships and other hands-on learning experiences, and in most cases, the training is provided at no charge.

Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Jane McKenna, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and members of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario. The announcement was made at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 105 Training Centre in Hamilton.

Some of the skills training projects receiving funding include:

  • The Ford Motor Company of Canada in Oakville will receive more than $954,000 to create up to 244 co-op learning spots to give college and university students practical, hands-on experience for careers in manufacturing, vehicle connectivity and business operations.
  • The Greenhouse Academy in Thorndale will receive $440,000 to train secondary students about how to grow plants, prepare seedlings for reforestation projects, and gain real workplace and business experience.
  • Roland Gossage Foundation will receive $500,000 for their Soldiers in Tech project to help up to 45 veterans train for careers in web development and technology.
  • The Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario will receive $450,000 to support women in the trades and for health and safety training.

The province is working to finalize agreements with training providers. The full list of successful recipients will be available on September 25, 2020.

Governments Extend Child Care Funding to Support Working Parents

Today, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, and Ahmed Hussen, Federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced an additional investment through the one-year Canada-Ontario Early Learning and Child Care Agreement (ELCC) of nearly $147 million to Ontario for 2020-21. This funding will help licensed child care providers and EarlyON child and family centres.

In 2020-21, ELCC funding supported measures to minimize the impacts of COVID-19.  It will also continue to support initiatives outlined in the initial three-year agreement, including increased access for families and professional learning for staff. Funding provided through the ELCC is in addition to $234.6 million being provided through the Safe Restart Agreement to keep children and staff safe in child care and early years settings.

During the closure and reopening periods, provincial funding was available to all child care operators to help them remain financially sustainable following the COVID-19 outbreak. Ontario also fully funded emergency child care for health care and other frontline workers during the closure period, and protected parents by preventing child care fees from being charged where care was not provided.

This is an additional investment through the Early Learning and Child Care Agreement between the federal government and Ontario that was signed in 2017. It builds on commitments made in the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Frameworkthat was signed by all of the provinces and territories.