Posted on December 18th, 2020 by Michelle DeLuca in Human Resources Advisory

Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL) Extension

Note Book with Employment Standards Act written in it. Sitting on a white table with the word Change written in black

The Ontario government has updated its regulations under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) to further extend Ontario’s COVID-19 period to September 25, 2021. The previous extension was set to expire on July 3, 2021.

This gives employers the ability to implement temporary layoffs or wage reductions, without triggering a constructive dismissal under the ESA, in response to the pandemic. Instead, affected employees will be deemed to be on the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL) for the duration of the COVID-19 period.

The further extension of the COVID-19 period provides additional relief for employers that have been required to reduce wages or lay employees off because of the pandemic.

Employees Still Laid Off

Employees who are still laid off after January 2, 2021, will continue to remain on the job-protected IDEL until July 3, 2021. The Employment Standards Act (ESA)’s regular rules around temporary layoff will resume on July 4, 2021. We will keep you apprised of any additional changes.

Employee Termination

The new IDEL extension announcement delays the requirement for employers to provide termination compensation to laid off employees until after July 3, 2021. This provides employers with the ability to keep the employment relationship active and allow time for their business to pick-up again.

Other COVID-19 Absences

As long as COVID-19 remains a designated infectious disease under the ESA, employees who cannot work due to one of the reasons listed in the statute related to COVID-19 will continue to be entitled to IDEL. 

How We Can Help

Please reach out to our HR Advisory team at if you have any questions or concerns with the above information.

The information contained in this article does not constitute legal or other professional advice. This article is current as of December 18, 2020, and applies only to Ontario, Canada.

More articles related to COVID-19: Business Resource Centre

About the Author

Michelle DeLucaSenior Human Resources Consultant |

Michelle has 15 years experience working in Human Resources in the areas of recruitment and talent development and is working towards her Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation.
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