On Friday, April 24, 2020, the Ontario government also announced a single-employer emergency order for developmental services, intervenor services and other congregated care settings.
What are the restrictions?
Similarly to the single-employer emergency orders issued for long-term care and retirement homes a few weeks ago, this order will restrict employees working in congregated care settings from working for more than one agency – including temporary help workers – in the same sector. We continue to have concern that this order, like to order for LTC and retirement homes, continues to ignore the intersectoral sharing of workers – thereby potentially allowing employees to continue to work in LTC one day, and to work in a DS setting the next.
For how long?
The limitations on work for more than one employer starts at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday April 30, 2020 and runs until the end of the declared emergency (at present, May 12, 2020).
What are the obligations on employers?
Employers face a number of restrictions and obligations:
- Employers must not terminate a staff member who is subject to this order as a result of the person following the order (e.g. employees who only work at one agency during the crisis cannot be fired from the other).
- Beginning on April 30th, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., the employer must ensure its staff working in residences do not also work as staff in residence operated by different congregate care setting service agencies in the same sector.
- Employers must post this order in a conspicuous and easily accessible place in each of their residences immediately.
- If there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in a residence operated by the employer, the employer must report to the local medical officer of health and ensure any staff members who are found to have been exposed to the virus at the residence are only scheduled to work at that residence until the outbreak is over. Determinations on who has been exposed are to be made in accordance with the advice, recommendations, and instructions of public health officials.
- All employers must follow any guidance, advice, or recommendations put out by the Ministry of Health or the Chief medical Officer of Health respecting COVID-19 that applies to congregate care setting service agencies this order applies to. This effectively makes such guidance, advice, or recommendations binding.
What are the obligations on employees?
Employees who perform work in a congregate care setting residence and also performs work in another congregate care setting service agency’s residence in the same sector must notify each agency that this order applies to them as soon as reasonably possible and in any event no later than 9:00 a.m. on April 27, 2020. Employees have to comply with the limits on working for other congregate care setting service agency’s residences in the same sector, even if it would not comply with a collective agreement.
What the key timelines?
- Post order in a conspicuous and easily accessible part of each of its residences.
- Comply with all guidance, advice, or recommendations from the Ministry of Health or the Chief Medical Officer of Health respecting COVID-19 applying to congregate care setting service agencies.
- April 27, 9:00 a.m. – Employees who work in residences covered by this order must notify each such employer this order applies to that this order applies to that employee.
- April 30, 12:01 a.m. and Onwards – Employees and employers must ensure that residence employees only work for one congregate care setting service agency’s residence for the duration of the emergency (despite any collective agreement to the contrary). Again, remote work is allowed.
- During an Outbreak – Report to local public health and require exposed staff to only work at the affected residence for the duration of the outbreak.
- May 6, 2020 – The end of the Declared Emergency (currently May 6, 2020), unless it is further extended.
See the full text of the order here.
If you are unsure of your obligations under this order be sure to reach out to your regular PooranLaw lawyer or any member of our team.
Note: This article provides general information only and does not constitute, and should not be relied upon as, legal advice or opinion. PooranLaw Professional Corporation holds the copyright to this article and the article and its contents may not be copied or reproduced in any form, in whole or in part, without the express permission of PooranLaw Professional Corporation.