More Details on Extension of
Termination & Severance Protection
ORHMA welcomes the extension of the temporary 13 week layoff deadline to Jan 2 2021. Extending the date supports business sustainability and protects employees from termination. This helps with having a job available for them when demand picks up. ORHMA has been a key advocator on this item and will continue to monitor the business climate for further extensions as needed. 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario government made a regulation that changed certain Employment Standards Act (ESA) rules during the “COVID-19 period.” This regulation has been amended, extending the COVID-19 period to January 2, 2021.

During the COVID-19 period (March 1, 2020 to January 2, 2021):

  • A non-unionized employee whose employer has temporarily reduced or eliminated their hours of work for reasons related to COVID-19 is deemed to be on a job-protected Infectious Disease Emergency Leave,

  • A non-unionized employee is not considered to be laid off under the ESA if their employer temporarily reduces or eliminates their hours of work or wages for reasons related to COVID-19, and

  • A non-unionized employee is not considered to be constructively dismissed under the ESA if their employer temporarily reduces or eliminates their hours of work or wages for reasons related to COVID-19.


Beginning on January 3, 2021:


  • The ESA’s regular rules around constructive dismissal resume. This means a significant reduction or elimination of an employee’s hours of work or wages may constitute a constructive dismissal, even if it was done for reasons related to COVID-19.

  • The ESA’s regular rules around temporary layoff resume. For practical purposes, an employee’s temporary layoff clock resets on January 3, 2021.


If you need help understanding your employment standards rights and responsibilities, you can:


  • Call the Employment Standards Information Centre at 1-800-531-5551 or TTY (for hearing impaired) at 1-866-567-8893. Information is available in many languages.

  • Get advice from a lawyer.

To learn more about COVID-19, employers’ responsibilities and job protections available to employees, visit Ontario.ca/COVID.
We will continue to keep you informed and if you have any questions, we are here to help. We welcome your questions and concerns at info@orhma.com or
call us at (905) 361-0268 or (800) 668-8906
Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA)
2600 Skymark Ave. Suite 8-201, Mississauga, ON L4W 5B2
www.orhma.com info@orhma.com 905-361-0268 800-668-8906