Health and safety

HR Support on Ontario’s Temporary Infectious Disease Emergency Leave with Pay

July 22, 2021

Adhering to public health measures is essential to stopping the spread of COVID-19, and paid sick days can help employees do this. Workplace transmission has been a significant issue during the pandemic, especially in essential workplaces where remote work is impossible. In response to this challenge, the government of Ontario introduced infectious disease emergency leave (IDEL) with pay. Some employers still have questions about this leave, so we are here to help you meet your obligations.

Why are paid sick days necessary?

A report from the COVID-19 Advisory Board for Ontario noted that 60% of employees had no access to paid sick days other than those provided by the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB). Access to paid sick days can result in a healthier workforce and lower levels of workplace transmission and community spread. For example, the introduction of temporary paid sick leave in the United States was associated with an estimated 50% reduction in the number of COVID-19 cases per state per day. To support these efforts, the government of Ontario has introduced infectious disease emergency leave (IDEL) with pay.

What is an employee’s entitlement under Ontario’s IDEL?

This protected leave with pay entitles employees to up to three days of paid leave for certain reasons related to COVID-19. Qualifying employees receive up to $200 per day while on leave, which employers pay upfront but can apply for reimbursement for through the WSIB. Employees are still entitled to unpaid infectious disease emergency leave but should receive the three paid days first unless they have requested not to. We understand this can feel overwhelming for employers and HR professionals. HRdownloads members with Live HR Advice can give us a call for answers to your specific questions!

When does Ontario’s IDEL entitlement period end?

The three days of paid sick leave due to reasons related to COVID-19 is offered by the government of Ontario until September 25, 2021 (or longer if extended).

What if employees use all their paid days?

The three days of paid IDEL are a baseline, but you should also consider what more you can do. Employers can offer benefits beyond the legislated minimums, including additional or permanent paid sick days, and we strongly recommend you consider doing so.

We understand that running a business in the pandemic has its own challenges, and it can be overwhelming to keep track of government programs and benefits. That is why our team of HR experts has compiled a guide to Ontario’s temporary infectious disease emergency leave. Not only does it include the details of the leave, it also explains the eligibility criteria, entitlement calculation, process of reimbursement, and even the limitations of the leave.

Download the FREE Ontario’s Temporary IDEL Guide to help your employees in these tough times and gain the maximum value from government support. Click below to download!

While HRdownloads uses reasonable efforts to maintain this site/blog and its Services in an up-to-date fashion, it does not warrant the completeness, timeliness or accuracy of any information contained on this site/blog or any of its Services, whether in English or French, and may make changes thereto at any time in its sole discretion without notice. All information and Services provided by HRdownloads are provided to members and/or users “as is”, “with all faults,” “as available” and at the sole risk of members and/or users. Our human resources information and recommendations are based on seasoned, best practice field experience and should not be construed as legal advice.