ensure your business is compliant during lockdown
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As we all now know, Ontario is under a state of emergency and a stay home order. If you are operating a business that is still open, you need to know what you should be doing to ensure that everyone stays safe and in compliance with the law. 

Firstly, everyone should be working from home, unless the nature of their work requires them to be on site. 

Only businesses on this list can be physically open. 
Continue Reading Lockdown Rules if Your Business is Open

State of Emergency measures for employers
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Inclined to believe better days are ahead of us, most of us couldn’t wait to see the end of 2020. While we’re still getting used to writing the new year, 2021 is already off to a rough start with the best news ahead not expected until September 2021 by which time we’re told we can expect that most Canadians will have been vaccinated. 

On January 12, 2021, with public health and financial recovery still in jeopardy, the Ontario government, under the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, announced its latest emergency response measures. Here are the key developments for Ontario employers.
Continue Reading Ontario’s Latest Emergency Response: Key Developments for Employers

stressed out workplaceJoin SpringLaw’s Lisa Stam on Thursday, January 21st at Benchmark Benefits Solutions‘* first-ever free virtual workplace summit empowering Finance, HR, Wellness, and Community across Canada, to help us thrive in 2021.

Lisa will be discussing how to manage and protect a stressed-out workplace.

Thursday, January 21st, 12:00-2:00 pm

Click here to register today!

Expert-led

First Reference blog top 10
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SpringLaw is a regular and long-time contributor to First Reference’s* blog First Reference Talks. We are very happy to be a member of this community of subject-matter experts and professionals, which aims to help small to medium-sized businesses stay abreast of news and discussions on Human Resources, Employment Law, Payroll and Internal Controls. 

In 2020, Covid-19 was, of course, top of mind for all employers and a topic we regularly wrote about for First Reference and our own SpringLaw blog followers.  We are thrilled to have two of our First Reference blog posts among their Top 10 most-read blog posts for 2020!
Continue Reading SpringLaw’s contributions among top 10 First Reference blog posts in 2020

Ontario lockdown January 2021
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Happy New Year to our readers! In Ontario, we begin the new year in yet another lockdown situation, which has forced many many small businesses to switch back to curbside pick-up only or, in some cases, stop operating. In southern Ontario, the lockdown will remain in effect until at least January 23, 2021. Full details of the lockdown rules can be found in O. Reg. 779/20, which came into effect on December 26, 2020.  

Staying Open? Make A Safety Plan!

For businesses that remain open and in-person, employers are required to prepare and make available a safety plan. Physical distancing and applicable capacity limits, as set out in O. Reg. 779/20 must be followed. 
Continue Reading Ontario’s Latest Lockdown and a New Grant for Small Businesses

favourite posts to revisit
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What a wild ride 2020 has been. Our offices are closed this week and our team is (hopefully) enjoying a well-deserved vacation. While most of our 2020 blogging has been Covid-19 related, and while much of our blogging does tend to revolve around legal updates, occasionally a “fun” employment topic makes its way onto the blog. For today’s post, I thought I’d pick out a few of my all-time (definitely non-Covid-19) favourite posts to revisit.

Dress Code Rules: What’s wrong with saying “no hot pants”?


This blog attracted a lot of eyeballs – thank you Google Analytics! Dress codes are one of the sneaky ways that employers often still discriminate. I know it’s been awhile since we’ve all been to a Jack Astors or a Hooters,  but you should know that legally the female waitresses should be allowed to dress exactly like the men and vice versa.


Continue Reading Special Bonus Holiday Blog! Hilary’s 2020 Favourites

IDEL extension July 3, 2021
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We had a feeling this might happen! And it has. The Ontario government has extended the length of the Deemed Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL) AGAIN! Enacting O. Reg 765/20, amending O. Reg 228/20 both under the Employment Standards Act (ESA). 

We have been warning our clients – and webinar attendees – about the upcoming January 2, 2021 end to the Deemed IDEL – it has now been extended to July 3, 2021. 

What is a Deemed IDEL? 

Employees who were laid off or had their hours reduced from March 1, 2020, until July 3, 2021, are on a deemed IDEL. During normal times, we would consider these employees to just be laid off but these regulations convert any reduction in hours – including all the way to ZERO hours and ZERO pay – to be deemed IDELs and not layoffs. 
Continue Reading New! IDEL Extension Until July 3, 2021

workplace mandate for vaccination
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Now that Canada has started to administer its first COVID-19 vaccine shots, many employers are wondering if they can require their workers to get vaccinated? A workplace mandate for vaccination seems like sensible risk management after a year of devastating costs for employers due to the pandemic. 

What if My Employee Refuses to be Vaccinated?

But what can an employer do if an employee refuses to be vaccinated? As long as your employees are not unionized, employers have the right to terminate employment without cause for any reason unless it’s discriminatory. As long as the requirement or any policy related to vaccination doesn’t infringe on any human rights protection owed to the employee, the requirement is not discriminatory. Requiring an employee to be vaccinated when they have a good reason not to be – for example, they are immunocompromised and it is not recommended by their doctor – would likely be a human rights violation.  An employee terminated for refusing or delaying in being vaccinated will be owed any contractual, statutory or perhaps common law termination pay to which they are entitled. This is because the refusal to be vaccinated likely won’t be just grounds for a termination with cause. 
Continue Reading Vaccination and the Workplace

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Extension and UpdatesThe federal government has once again extended the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and made changes to the eligibility criteria. 

While most businesses will want to work with an accountant to apply and determine their subsidy amount, the government does provide lots of good information on the CEWS FAQ page, this CEWS information page and the application page

Here are some highlights of the latest version of the CEWS:

  • CEWS extended until June 2021.
  • Maximum subsidy amount of 65% for periods 8 – 10 (September 27, 2020 – December 19, 2020). This is a maximum weekly benefit of $734 per employee and requires employers to show a revenue drop of 70% of more.  
  • Employers with any amount of revenue drop will be eligible for some amount of subsidy.
  • Deadline to apply is January 31, 2021, or 180 days after the end of the claim period, whichever comes later. 
    Continue Reading Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Update