June 2, 2021
Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit
[ Updated May 31, 2021 with the WSIB Portal to apply for the benefit ]
VISIT THE WSIB APPLICATION PORTAL
Prior to applying, an employer should ensure it has available:
- Its business registration details such as legal name, trade name, CRA number and bank account details.
- If a WSIB registered employer, its Premium Remittance Statement (Schedule 1 employer) or Monthly Statement (Schedule 2 employer) for details such as the WSIB account number/firm number and last payment details
- Its 6-digit NAICS industry classification code (found here).
- The work site address details (one application per work site address)
- Details of any current paid sick leave coverage already available to employees including number of days of coverage, daily dollar amounts and policy documents.
- Applicable employee details (contact information, address, SIN, date of birth, proof of wage payment via a paystub).
Payments are expected to take two weeks to process, with initial payments being made by the end of June and bi-weekly thereafter. An organization can check the status of a claim here.Paid infectious disease emergency leave is available for certain reasons related to including:
Information about the programOn April 29, 2021, the Ontario Government amended the Employment Standards Act, 2000 to require employers to provide employees with up to three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave because of certain reasons related to . This entitlement is in addition to employees’ rights to unpaid infectious disease emergency leave.
- going for a test
- staying home awaiting the results of a
- being sick with
- getting individual medical treatment for mental health reasons related to
- going to get vaccinated
- experiencing a side effect from a vaccination
- having been advised to self-isolate due to by an employer, medical practitioner or other specified authority
- providing care or support to certain relatives for
related reasons, such as when they are:
- sick with or have symptoms of
- self-isolating due to on the advice of a medical practitioner or other specified authority
Payment amountEmployers are generally required to pay employees the wages they would have earned had they not taken the leave, up to $200 a day for up to three days. The three days do not have to be taken consecutively. Vacation pay is payable on infectious disease emergency leave pay.
EligibilityThe three days of paid leave are available to employees who are covered by the Employment Standards Act (ESA). Learn more about who is an employee under the ESA.
Independent contractors and federally regulated employees may be entitled to federal income support benefits, including the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CSRB).
Paid leave under existing contractEmployees who have rights to paid leave under their employment contract (which includes a collective agreement) may not be eligible for paid infectious disease emergency leave or may be entitled to fewer than three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA).
In order for an employee’s three-days of ESA paid leave to be reduced, all four of the following criteria must be met.
On April 19, 2021:
- The employee had the right to a paid leave under their employment contract for one or more of the same reasons that paid infectious disease emergency leave can now be taken under the ESA.
- The employee had not already used up those days of paid leave under their employment contract before April 19, 2021 and those days were still remaining.
- The employee’s employment contract provided pay for the leave that is at least as much pay as the employee would be entitled to receive for paid infectious disease emergency leave under the ESA.
- The employee’s employment contract did not contain conditions for taking the leave that are more restrictive than what is set out in the ESA for taking paid infectious disease emergency leave.
Proof of entitlement to leaveEmployers may require evidence reasonable in the circumstances at a time that is reasonable in the circumstances that the employee is entitled to the leave. What is considered reasonable in the circumstances will depend on all of the facts of the situation. However, employers cannot require an employee to provide a certificate from a doctor or nurse as evidence.
If it is reasonable in the circumstances, evidence may take many forms, such as:
- a copy of the information issued to the public by a public health official advising of quarantine or isolation
- a copy of an order to isolate that was issued to the employee under s. 22 or s. 35 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act
- an email from a pharmacy or from a public health department indicating the employee’s appointment date and time to receive a covid 19 vaccination.
Employer reimbursement for paid leaveEligible employers are entitled to be reimbursed the amount of infectious disease emergency leave pay that they paid to their employees, up to $200 per employee per day taken.
Eligible employers must make their application for reimbursement to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board within 120 days of the date the employer paid the employee. The ministry is providing funding to the board to administer this program. This program is not a WSIB program and will not be funded by the WSIB’s insurance fund. More information on how employers can apply will be available on this page soon.