With the recent spread of the Omicron variant and the associated rollout of re-tightened health measures, winter 2022 is set to be a similarly restrictive season to what we saw last year. Accordingly, on December 7, 2021 Ontario government has extended the eligibility period for Deemed Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (“Deemed IDEL”) to July 30, 2022.
What does this change?
The eligibility period for Deemed IDEL was set to end at the end of December 2021; the Ontario government recently extended it to July 30, 2022.
Who does this affect?
This decision affects all non-unionized employees who are subject to the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 and who have been temporarily laid-off or had their hours reduced due to COVID 19, or who might be subject to a temporary layoff or hours reduction before July 2022.
How does Deemed IDEL work?
Deemed IDEL allows your employer to temporarily reduce or eliminate your hours for reasons related to COVID 19 without triggering a termination under the Employment Standards Act. The purpose of this amendment was to relieve employers of the requirement to pay termination/severance pay when faced with restrictions or reduced business associated by the pandemic.
Is there any way I can recover severance pay while on deemed IDEL?
At the time of writing, it is unclear whether employees who have been forced onto deemed IDEL (i.e., layoff) are entitled to sue their employers for severance. There are conflicting decisions of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on this point, and the conflict has yet to be decided by the Court of Appeal.
What if the reduction or elimination of my hours has nothing to do with COVID 19?
We are hearing more reports of employers abusing deemed IDEL by using it as an excuse to push away unwanted employees, without paying severance. If you can prove that your layoff was not related to COVID 19 (for instance, if your exact position has been filled by someone else), you may be entitled to sue your employer for constructive dismissal.
What will happen on July 31, 2022?
Assuming there are no further extensions to the deemed IDEL period, your employer will not need to recall you to work before July 31, 2022. After that time, a continued layoff may amount to a constructive dismissal, in which case you may quit and sue your employer for severance.
Have EI or CERB benefits been extended to account for this?
At the time of writing, the Federal government has not announced any increase to income replacement benefits for workers on deemed IDEL, which could pose a serious hardship to laid-off employees who will now need to wait another 7 months to have certainty on the future of their jobs.
If you have been terminated, laid-off, or severed from your job contact the employment lawyers at Share Lawyers. Our experienced team of Employment Law lawyers can help. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case. Find out if you have an Employment Case!
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A note from our long term disability lawyers
Taking a medical leave from work is not an easy decision to make. Concerns about providing for yourself and your family and keeping your job may cause you to want to push through your pain, but this won’t make your problems go away. Stopping work is often the smartest decision for your long term health and well-being, and your disability benefits are there to provide you with financial support until you can return to work.
If you have made the tough decision to stop working and apply for your short term disability or long term disability benefits, you may feel overwhelmed by the process and have questions that your employer and your insurance company are not able or willing to answer. Share is There to see you through and answer your questions.
Our Disability law firm knows what you have been going through
We understand that things have not been easy for you over the last little while. Your health has been suffering, you are unable to work, and now your insurance company, who was supposed to be there in your time of need, has decided they will not pay your disability benefits or respect your disability claim. These benefits exist to provide you with the financial support you need so that you can focus on your health and rebuilding your life. It is unfortunate that your insurance company has not lived up to its promise. If your disability claim has been denied, we will fight to get you the benefits you are entitled to. Our disability lawyers have helped thousands of Canadians get their long term disability benefits over the past 35 years, and we can help you too.
Our experienced disability lawyers can fight back on your behalf
Share Lawyers believes that every client who is dealing with a disability claim deserves superior personal service. To achieve that goal, we have developed our team of experienced, compassionate, and caring long term disability lawyers, law clerks, and administrative staff to meet all of your needs. Our team of experienced long term disability, life insurance, employment, and critical illness insurance lawyers have made successful claims against many insurance companies, third-party administrators and employers.
If you are unable to work, your disability benefits should be there to provide you with the financial support you need. While your insurance company may be focused on finding ways to avoid paying your claim, our focus is on what is in your best interest. When Share Lawyers gets involved, you have an entire team of lawyers that are there to support you and to fight for what is yours.
Our disability claim lawyers fight for your disability insurance claim by relying on our many years of experience to apply the best strategic planning and approach in each case, using the latest technology available. Experience matters, and with Share Lawyers, you are in the best hands with 35 years of success on your side.
In this video, we explain the role of a long term disability lawyer and how we can support you when you have been denied your long term disability benefits.