On July 24, 2020, the municipality of York Region mandated that all businesses and organizations, which operate in “enclosed public spaces” during Stage 3 of the economic reopening of Ontario, must use best efforts so that only individuals who wear a face covering can enter the premises of those establishments.
The Ontario government has allowed Toronto-area childcare centres to reopen from the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown on June 12, 2020. However, these centres are not to operate at full capacity due to physical distancing rules in order to minimize the spread of coronavirus. Schools have also been closed since March 2020. Overnight camps are not allowed in the Province of Ontario. Day camps are allowed to accept children at reduced capacities and with an increase in health and safety protocols. However, a large number of those day camps are not operational due to those restrictions. The bottom line is that not all parents have the ability to place their child in a childcare centres or camps. They may also not have access to home daycare or a nanny.
The Coronavirus pandemic has added a layer of worry for average employers who are struggling to keep their businesses open. Not only are employers faced with having to keep their operations financially afloat, they also have to think about the health and safety of those in their employ beyond what they used to in the past.
Employers have increased concerns about what their employees do outside of the workplace because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a fact that contact with others outside of work can increase the risk of bringing coronavirus into the workplace and infecting others there. This may be especially relevant during the summer months. It can be very hard to ignore the allure of fresh air, sunshine and company from friends and family that one may not have seen for weeks. This phenomenon could be observed a few weeks ago when thousands of people attended Trinity-Bellwoods Park in Toronto because the weather was nice and they wanted to socialize.
On May 28, 2020, the Ontario government created Ontario Regulation 228/20 (“Regulation”) in the Employment Standards Act, 2000, in an effort to address and alleviate some of the financial hardship suffered by local businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other things, the aforementioned Regulation has brought about to two key developments in the ever-shifting landscape of employment law in Ontario.