HR challenges

Breaking News: Governments to shut down all non-essential workplaces

March 24, 2020

Quebec and Ontario order all non-essential workplaces to close.

What we know so far about Ontario:

  • Click here to review the list of essential workplaces for Ontario:
  • Business can continue if work is not performed in a facility. If you have employees working from home, this can continue;
  • Grocery stores, pharmacies, utilities, and telecommunications will continue;
  • The closure is for the next 14 days, but may be extended;
  • Details on a financial package will be made available on Wednesday, March 25.

Addition note: Schools will likely not resume on April 6. More information to come.

For more information, visit

What we know so far about Quebec:

  • Click here to review the list of essential services and commercial activities for Quebec
  • All businesses that are not considered essential services must close by the evening of Tuesday, March 24;
  • Those that can close now are advised to do so;
  • The closure is for three weeks until April 12, but may be extended;
  • Schools and daycares will remain closed until May 1;
  • Emergency school daycare services are open to the children (ages four to 13)of health care, social services, and essential services personnel;

For more information, visit:

Businesses that are currently open and that feel they may be considered non-essential should start planning their response. See our Business Planning During COVID-19 Pandemic resources and our Business Continuity Calculator.


Looking for more information?

HRdownloads is here to support your business as questions arise and circumstances continue to change. Layoffs, Employment Insurance (EI) claims, benefits, and entitlement are all topics employers are starting to think deeply about, but that's raised a number of questions. Get answers in our recent blog post: Questions about COVID-19 are not getting any easier, but we have answers.

As the pandemic continues to progress, we will continue to update our blog as frequently as possible to provide you the resources and answers you need. 


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