Since COVID-19 related travel measures took effect, foreign

workers arriving to Canada have been obligated to quarantine for 14

days before they could safely integrate with the general

population. What was less clear about this arrangement is how this

period of time is treated in terms of employment status.

Effectively, an employee is officially commencing their

employment on the day they arrive and begin their quarantine. This

means that the employer is expected to have the employee officially

on payroll at that time. The employer must provide salary and all

applicable benefits for the employee. Due to practical constraints,

such as the worker not being able to leave quarantine to open a

bank account and apply for their social insurance number, the

official pay slip may be produced once these items are completed.

The important point is that the quarantine period is to be treated

as the start of official employment.

This does not mean, however, that the employee is expected to

work during the quarantine period. Of course, in circumstances that

allow for remote work from the place of quarantine, there is no

restriction on their right to start working. In many cases, remote

working is not possible, and the employer cannot demand any

participation from the employee. The employer is strictly required

not to do anything that prevents the employee from meeting the

quarantine requirements.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general

guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought

about your specific circumstances.

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