Ontario Employers Must Screen Employees

The Ontario government now mandates that Ontario employers apply a COVID-19 screening test to employees and essential visitors before they enter the workplace, says Hicks Morley in an ‘FTR Now bulletin.’ The regulation outlining ‘Rules for Areas in Stage 3’ has been amended to include a requirement that persons responsible for businesses and places under Schedule 1 that are open “shall operate the business or organization in compliance with the advice, recommendations, and instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health on screening individuals.” This change came into effect on September 26. The government set out a number of questions to be answered by the employee or essential visitor relating to COVID-19 and state that the screening “should occur before or when a worker enters the workplace at the beginning of their day or shift, or when an essential visitor arrives.” No additional guidance is given as to how the COVID-19 screening questions are to be administered. Employers should also ensure that appropriate records are kept so as to be able to demonstrate compliance if needed, with the necessary safeguards in place given the sensitivity of the information being collected.