On April 29, 2021, the Ontario government announced the COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit (WIPB) which includes:
- up to three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave under the Employment Standards Act (ESA) for employees who have to take time off work because of certain reasons related to COVID-19, and
- an employer reimbursement program.
This reimbursement program is launching on May 27, 2021 and will be accessible at https://ontario-covid19-worker-income-protection-benefit.ca/en. The WIPB is being administered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). In order to apply for a reimbursement of leave paid to your employees, you must do so within 120 days of paying your employee, and to support your claim you will need to provide:
- Employee Name, Employee # and SIN
- Employee Contact Information: Address, Phone #, Email
- Date(s) of Sick leave / Nature of Claim Confirmation: No active WSIB claim relating to same days off work
- Proof of Payment: e.g. Pay Stub
- General Attestation
Employers will also need to provide:
- Employer Name, Address, Phone #
- Specific Worksite, and address (vs corporate address above)
- Main Contact, Phone # & Email
- Business Identifier: WSIB #, CRA # / BN9
- Industry Classification: NAICS Code
- Details of your existing sick leave program (# of days, $ per day)
Once you have submitted your claim, you will receive a claim confirmation number with which you can check your claim status. Payments will begin at the end of June and happen on a bi-weekly basis thereafter. The WSIB is aiming to process a claim within two weeks of approval, with payment depending on the complexity of the claim.
For more general information on eligibility criteria, how to apply and program rules, please visit Ontario.ca/COVIDworkerbenefit or call the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit Information Centre 1-888-999-2248 (TTY: 1-866-567-8893).
Other quick facts
- The COVID-19 Putting Workers First Act, 2021 came into force on April 29, 2021.
- Employees covered by the Employment Standards Act (ESA) are entitled to up to three days of paid leave under the ESA for certain reasons related to COVID-19 between April 19, 2021 and September 25, 2021. For more information visit: Ontario.ca/COVIDworkerbenefit.
- Employers are required to pay employees their regular rate of pay up to $200 a day for up to three days. If an employee regularly earns more than $200 per day, they would still only be entitled to $200 per day of paid leave, for up to three days. If an employee earns less than $200 per day, they are only eligible for the amount they regularly earn. Shift premiums and overtime pay do not apply.
- If an employee’s contract already includes paid leave for a COVID-related reason, then the employee’s entitlement to the three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave may be reduced by the employee’s entitlement to paid leave as per their contract.
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Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development