If you've been worried about losing your job, we have some good news. The Ontario government just made it a whole lot harder to lay off workers. On June 1, it was announced that provincial labour laws have been adjusted to help non-unionized workers keep their jobs during COVID-19. 

In a press release, the Ontario government announced that the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave will help employers avoid terminating their workers during these stressful times. 

Non-union employees whose hours have been reduced or eliminated due to the pandemic will now be placed on emergency leave.

The move will allow workers to keep their employment status while still being eligible for "federal emergency income support programs."

Usually, the Employment Standards Act requires all businesses to terminate employees who have been laid off for 13 weeks.

However, this temporary change will ensure that businesses aren't forced to fire workers after their ESA temporary layoff periods have expired.

This act will apply from March 1 until six weeks after the state of emergency ends. 

However, those that are represented by a trade union will not be included.

 

The Financial Accountability Office of Ontario reported that a whopping 2.2 million Ontario employees had been affected by the economy's COVID-19 shutdown.

"As we take the necessary steps to safely and gradually restart the economy, we need to make sure business owners can reopen their doors, and workers have jobs to go back to," said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour.

"This regulatory change will protect businesses from being forced to permanently lay off their employees due to COVID-19 and suffer a financial loss that could shutter their operations for good," he added.

In April, it was reported that Ontario lost more jobs than any other month on record. 

According to the report, the province lost 689,200 jobs in April making the unemployment rate climb to 11.3%. 

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