Your rights

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, employers have to take precautions to keep workers safe. As a worker, you also have the right to refuse unsafe work.

Learn about the rules, how to stay safe on the job and your rights during COVID‑19.

If you have concerns about your health and safety that your employer is not addressing, you can file a complaint with the Health and Safety Contact Centre at 1-877-202-0008.

Emergency leave and other employment standards protections

We created a new job-protected infectious disease emergency leave. You can take a leave if you are not able to work due to COVID‑19.

Learn more about job-protected leaves, temporary layoffs, vacation time, and resolving disputes under the Employment Standards Act.

Job protection and income support during COVID-19

Infectious disease emergency leave

The Government of Ontario protects workers’ jobs if they need to take a leave because they are unable to work due to COVID‑19, including if the employee is:

  • in isolation
  • in quarantine
  • caring for dependents

This leave is available to Ontario employees covered by the Employment Standards Act, including employees that are:

  • part-time
  • full-time
  • permanent
  • on contract
  • on probation

Learn more about job-protected infectious disease emergency leave.

Federal income support

The Government of Canada provides income supports for eligible employed and self-employed individuals, including those unable to work because they are:

  • sick
  • in quarantine
  • self-isolating
  • at greater risk of getting COVID‑19
  • caring for dependents

The Canada Revenue Agency administers the following income supports to help individuals, including those who are self-employed:

Employment Insurance

Employment Insurance (EI) is available to more individuals during COVID‑19. EI benefits include:

Resources for health care professionals

Get the latest case definition and guidance for your discipline.

Guidance on personal protective equipment (PPE)

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a garment or device worn by health care workers to protect themselves from infection.

Read guidance on PPE for health care workers.

Learn more about Public Health Ontario’s PPE recommendations in health care facilities.

How you can help

We are looking for people with experience in health care who can help us to prevent and control the spread of COVID‑19.

If you’re a health care provider and working part-time, retired or on inactive status and you think you can help, find out what we’re looking for.

Sector-specific guidance

Health guidance

The Ministry of Health has developed specific COVID‑19 health guidance documents for sectors including:

  • health
  • food premises
  • industry operators
  • emergency childcare centres
  • funeral and bereavement services
  • temporary foreign workers
  • homeless shelters
  • group homes and co-living settings

Guidance about your rights and responsibilities at work

We’ve put together resources, best practices and other information to help you understand your rights and responsibilities during the COVID‑19 outbreak. You can also download posters about physical distancing best practices for your sector.

Information for truck drivers

Ontario is taking steps to keep goods moving during COVID‑19, such as providing truck drivers with more places to safely stop and rest. This includes parking at all 23 ONroutes and seasonal rest areas, truck inspection stations and truck lay-bys.

Find out more:

Guidance for transit agencies

The Ministry of Transportation has developed guidance for transit agencies to provide transit employers and passengers with tips and best practices that they can use to prevent the spread of COVID‑19.

Mental health and addictions supports

If you’re a frontline worker and you’re feeling anxious, experiencing other mental health or addiction challenges or you can’t access your regular in-person counselling support, there are services you can access online or by phone, including self-led support, peer support and Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Find mental health support.

If you are currently receiving mental health and addictions services and supports, please contact your current service provider, including community-based mental health and addictions agencies. Many of theses providers are modifying their services to move towards virtual care, meeting clients by phone or secure video-conferencing.

Job and volunteer opportunities

Agriculture and food sector

The commitment and dedication of Ontario’s agriculture and food sector workers is what keeps our grocery store shelves full and food on our kitchen tables.

Learn about employment openings and training resources in Ontario’s agriculture and food sector if you’re looking for a new professional opportunity and the chance to make a difference during this COVID‑19 outbreak.