On April 29, 2021, the Ontario government announced the COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit (WIPB) which includes:
- up to three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave under the Employment Standards Act (ESA) for employees who have to take time off work because of certain reasons related to COVID-19, and
- an employer reimbursement program.
This reimbursement program is launching on May 27, 2021 and will be accessible at https://ontario-covid19-worker-income-protection-benefit.ca/en.
The WIPB is being administered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). In order to apply for a reimbursement of leave paid to your employees, you must do so within 120 days of paying your employee, and to support your claim you will need to provide:
• Employee Name, Employee # and SIN
• Employee Contact Information: Address, Phone #, Email
• Date(s) of Sick leave / Nature of Claim Confirmation: No active WSIB claim relating to same days off work
• Proof of Payment: e.g. Pay Stub
• General Attestation
Employers will also need to provide:
• Employer Name, Address, Phone #
• Specific Worksite, and address (vs corporate address above)
• Main Contact, Phone # & Email
• Business Identifier: WSIB #, CRA # / BN9
• Industry Classification: NAICS Code
• Details of your existing sick leave program (# of days, $ per day)
Once you have submitted your claim, you will receive a claim confirmation number with which you can check your claim status. Payments will begin at the end of June and happen on a bi-weekly basis thereafter. The WSIB is aiming to process a claim within two weeks of approval, with payment depending on the complexity of the claim.
For more general information on eligibility criteria, how to apply and program rules, please visit Ontario.ca/COVIDworkerbenefit or call the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit Information Centre 1-888-999-2248 (TTY: 1-866-567-8893).