Ontario government orders closure of all non-essential workplaces (Canada)

COVID-19 Alert


On March 23, 2020, the Ontario government ordered all non-essential workplaces to close down by 11:59 PM on March 24, 2020 for at least 14 days.

The Ontario government subsequently released a list of essential workplaces to which the order will not apply. The preamble to that list of essential workplaces states that the order “does not preclude the provision of work and services by entities not on this list either online, by telephone or by mail/delivery” and “teleworking and online commerce are permitted at all times for all businesses”.

The list of essential workplaces is extensive and includes 74 broadly defined workplaces, which are grouped into the following categories:‎ ‎

  1. Supply chains
  2. Retail and wholesaling
  3. Food services and accommodations
  4. Institutional, residential, commercial and industrial ‎maintenance
  5. Telecommunications and IT infrastructure/service providers
  6. Transportation
  7. Manufacturing and production
  8. Agriculture and food production
  9. Construction
  10. Financial activities
  11. Resources
  12. Environmental services‎
  13. Utilities and community services‎ ‎
  14. Communications industries ‎
  15. Research
  16. Health care and seniors care and social services
  17. Justice sector
  18. Other businesses
  19. Business ‎regulators and inspectors

The complete list can be viewed here

Employers are encouraged to carefully review the complete list to determine whether or not their workplaces fit within any of the broadly defined categories. Otherwise, employers will be required to close down their workplaces by end of day today.

For further information, please consult our Coronavirus Resource Centre or contact any member of our DLA Piper Canadian Employment and Labour Law Service Group.

This article provides only general information about legal issues and developments, and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Please see our disclaimer for more details.