Labour & Employment Law Insights

Ontario Government Releases COVID-19 Workplace Screening Tool

September 28, 2020

Legislation | Employment

On Friday of last week, the Ontario Government amended section 2 of Regulation 364/20. Effective September 26, 2020, any person responsible for a business or organization is required to comply with the advice, recommendations, and instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health on the screening of individuals. 

In conjunction with this regulatory amendment, the Ministry of Health published a screening tool that businesses and organizations should use to assess whether workers or essential visitors should be granted access to the workplace.  

The Ministry of Health has advised that the questions outlined in the screening tool are, at a minimum, those that should be posed to workers and essential visitors.  The preamble to the tool specifically notes that it can be adapted to suit any additional needs of specific workplace settings. 

Of note, the screening tool is not applicable to health care settings and other non-health care workplaces where existing screening requirements are already in place (e.g. congregate living settings). 

However, for applicable workplaces, employers are advised to screen workers before or when they arrive at the workplace for the start of their day or shift, and to screen essential visitors when they arrive onsite. 

Individuals who pass the screening process should be permitted entry to the workplace, but should be advised to immediately report the onset of any COVID-19 symptoms. Individuals who do not pass the screening process should be denied access to the workplace, directed to self-isolate, and advised to contact their health care provider or Telehealth Ontario. 

Employers are encouraged to review the newly published screening tool with a view to ensuring that the screening measures implemented in their respective workplaces meet the minimum recommendations published by the Ministry of Health.  

Need more information? 

For assistance with the development and implementation of COVID-19 screening measures, policies, and practices, or for general information regarding compliance with the advice, recommendations, and/or instructions of public health officials, contact any member of our legal team.

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