Our Employment and Labour Department has been getting a lot of questions about the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces in Ontario. Based on the questions we have been receiving, we have clarified a few points below.
All non-essential workplaces in Ontario were ordered to be closed by Premier Ford effective March 24, 2020 at 11:59 pm, for at least 14 days. Premier Ford also noted that they can extend this 14 day period as the situation evolves.
This means that all non-essential workplaces actually have to close, even if their workers do not work in close proximity to each other. Otherwise, they may face hefty fines/charges. They can, however, continue to operate remotely.
Temporary access to a non-essential workplace is also permitted for the following purposes:
- Performing work at the workplace in order to comply with any applicable law;
- To allow for inspection, maintenance, and repairs;
- To allow for security services to be provided at the workplace;
- To deal with critical matters relating to the closure of the workplace, if the critical matters cannot be dealt with remotely; and
- To access materials, goods, or supplies that may be necessary for the business to be operated remotely.
A list of all essential workplaces that can remain open can be found here.
No matter how big or small the matter, we are always accessible to all of our clients, placing their financial realities and long-term interests first and foremost. Lorrie Por, Mana Khami, and David Spence from our Employment and Labour Department are available to assist with any questions you may have about workplace matters relating to COVID-19.