September 28, 2020

Under the Employment Standards Act, 2000, an employee is eligible to take an unpaid, job-protected emergency leave if they are not performing the duties of their position for specified reasons related to COVID-19. This includes people who are providing care or support their children because of a matter related to COVID-19.

This also applies to parents if their child’s school or daycare is closed due to COVID-19. It also applies to parents who choose not to send their child to school or to child care out of fear the child would be exposed to COVID-19.

Learn more about infectious disease emergency leave.

If you need help understanding your employment standards rights and responsibilities, you can:

  • Visit Your guide to the Employment Standards Act at
  • Call the Employment Standards Information Centre at 1-800-531-5551 or TTY (for hearing impaired) at 1-866-567-8893. Information is available in many languages.
  • Get advice from a lawyer.

To learn more about COVID-19, employers’ responsibilities and job protections available to employees, visit