Basic rules

As of March 5, 2020, all employees who are in quarantine due to COVID-19, are eligible for 14 days of unpaid leave.

  • All employees are eligible regardless of their length of service.
  • Employees can take this leave more than once.
  • Employees can take this leave, and any other job-protected leave, more than once consecutively.
  • Employers and employees may explore alternate work arrangements such as working from home.
  • Employees on COVID-19 leave are considered to be continuously employed for the purpose of calculating years of service.


  • Employees need to provide written notice to their employer as soon as possible and reasonable in the circumstances when they are taking this leave.
  • Employees don’t need a medical note in order to access this job-protected leave.
  • Employees don’t need a medical note to return to work.
  • Employees don’t need to give a written notice to the employer when they decide to go back to work.

Pay and overtime

  • Employers are not required to pay for sick time or time where an employee did not work or earn wages.
  • Employees can request to use their available vacation pay or banked overtime.

Employee eligibility

  • All employees recommended or directed by the Chief Medical Officer to self-isolate related to COVID-19 are entitled to 14 days of unpaid, job-protected leave.
  • All employees are eligible regardless of their length of service.


“Quarantine” is any self-isolation or self-quarantine as a result of COVID-19, as may be recommended or directed by the Chief Medical Officer.

Scheduling employees

  • Employers are encouraged to work with their employees to explore alternate working arrangements to allow them to continue to work safely, such as working from home or completing duties that do not require contact with people.
  • If alternate arrangements cannot be made, employers are not required to schedule employees for work, however, employees who have had a prolonged period where they have not been scheduled for work can explore constructive dismissal.

Termination of employment

  • Employees may not be terminated or temporarily laid off for requesting a protected leave or being on the leave.
    • An exception to this is if the employer is temporarily suspending operations, which may result in a temporary layoff, or permanently ceasing operations which would result in termination.
    • If circumstances beyond the employer’s control make employment impossible, employers may terminate employees without termination notice.

Financial supports

The Government of Canada has announced measures to support individuals, businesses and industries with the impacts of COVID-19.

Learn more about Government of Canada supports.

How the law applies

Employment Standards COVID-19 Leave Regulation sets out the rules for COVID-19 leave.

Other available leaves

Additional eligibility criteria may apply to other available leaves.