Essential Workplaces in Ontario

Written by on April 27, 2020 in Covid-19 Centre, Employment Law Blog, Employment Law Issues

By: Aneesha Lewis

On April 3, 2020, Ontario revised its initial March 23, 2020, list of essential workplaces, to reduce the amount of businesses able to continue to operate in their physical locations in Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic. This list is made under an Emergency Order in accordance with the Province’s Declaration of Emergency in the Regulations to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

Businesses that are not on the essential workplace list are required to close temporarily. However, the business can continue to operate if the employees are able to work remotely from home. The purpose of these business closures is to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, while ensuring that necessary goods and services remain available.

The term “businesses” used in the list include: any for-profit, non-profit, or other entity providing the goods and services described in the list.

There are a few exceptions with respect to the list:

  • The list does not prevent the provision of work and services by entities not on the list either online, by telephone or by mail/delivery
  • It does not preclude the operation or delivery of services of any publicly funded agency or organization that delivers or supports government operations and services; and
  • Teleworking and online commerce are permitted at all times for all businesses

The complete list of essential workplaces can be found here:


For more advice or information about whether your business qualifies as an essential business, and what to do if it does not, contact us.

Minken Employment Lawyers is your source for expert advice and advocacy on today’s employment law issues. If you have any questions on COVID-19 and your workplace or what are Essential Workplaces, please contact us today at contact@minken.com or call us at 905-477-7011. Sign up for our newsletter to receive up-to-date COVID-19 information, including new legislation and Court decisions impacting your workplace.

Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

Related Topics