Ontario Declares State of Emergency and Issues Stay-at-Home Order

On January 12, 2021, the Government of Ontario declared a second state of emergency under Section 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

In order to combat the increasing number of cases of COVID-19, the government has also issued a Stay-at-Home Order effective Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 12:01 A.M. Under this Stay-at-Home Order, Ontarians may only leave their homes for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery stores or pharmacy, accessing health care services, or when the individual’s employer has determined that the nature of the individual’s work requires attendance at the workplace.

The Government of Ontario also enacted additional public health measures, including the requirement that individuals wear a mask or face covering in the indoor areas of businesses or organizations that are open, and the requirement that employers ensure that all employees work from home if they can.

All enforcement and provincial offences officers, including the Ontario Provincial Police, local police forces, by-law officers, and provincial workplace inspectors will be provided the authority to issue tickets, set fines, or prosecute individuals and companies who do not comply with the Stay-at-Home Order or the required public health measures.

We will continue to monitor developments related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the workplace and will post further updates as information becomes available. For advice specific to your situation, consider contacting your regular lawyer at Rae Christen Jeffries LLP.