Labour & Employment Law Blog

Ontario Restrictions Update

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Zeilikman Law

The past two years have caused an incredible amount of uncertainty and confusion in all facets of life. Workplaces suffered a very unique set of consequences. From businesses transitioning online to others shutting down entirely, it has been difficult to keep track of trends and regulations that are constantly changing. Continue reading to learn what the newest regulations mean for your place of employment.

Back to Normal (Kind of)

Now that Ontario public health indicators have shown significant improvement, many measures have been lifted. As of March 21, 2022, indoor capacity limits have been removed, proof of vaccination is no longer mandatory, masks are not necessary in most settings and businesses no longer need a COVID-19 safety plan in place.

What Does This Mean for the Workplace?

With mask requirements now removed from most workplace settings they are no longer mandatory for employees. However, if an employer still wants to enforce mask wearing among employees, they are able to make that judgment as they see fit. They are also allowed to make decisions on whether or not customers must wear masks on business premises subject to human rights-based accommodations and health and safety concerns.

March 14, 2022 marked the expiration of mandatory vaccine policies in settings such as long-term care homes, hospitals and schools. This means that vaccination is no longer a policy in these sectors of work.

What About Health Measures?

Businesses are still encouraged to practice precautionary measures such as accessible sanitization and physical distancing where possible. It is also completely up to business owners if they decide to continue with requirements such as masks, mandatory vaccinations, COVID testing or other screenings subject to their duty to meet health and safety standards and human rights related accommodations.

Wrapping Up

Even though Ontario regulations have dropped many requirements, it is still the duty of employers to ensure that their businesses are safe for every individual employee and that the workplace is compliant with human rights legislation. Before making any sudden change, conversations should be had with employees so that everyone is comfortable and on the same page as they return to in person work.

The above article is for general information purposes only, does not constitute legal advice or create a solicitor-client relationship. Because each case is unique and factually driven, if you have concerns with regard to the foregoing issues, please make an appointment with one of our lawyers or a qualified legal practitioner elsewhere. We represent clients in the Greater Toronto Area including Toronto, North York, Markham, Vaughan, Thornhill, Newmarket, Aurora, Brampton, Mississauga, Barrie, Ajax, Whitby, Pickering and Oshawa.