Coronavirus Update for Employers in Canada

coronavirus update for employers in CanadaThe Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) activated the Health Portfolio Operations Centre to support effective coordination of federal, provincial, and territorial preparedness and response to the emergence of COVID-19.

Health insurance

  • Most insurers are handling COVID-19 as they would any other medical illness.
  • Canada’s response is to cover under the provincial plan, and where there are gaps, the insurance providers are treating coverage for COVID-19 as they would any other medical emergency.
  • This means there is no exclusion to treating someone because this is an epidemic vs. another type of medical emergency.
  • However, all out-of-country policies are referring to the World Health Organization’s travel advisories for certain regions.

Disability insurance

  • If an employee receives a COVID-19 diagnosis, employers should to reach out to their benefits consultant to assist with navigating the employer sponsored disability programs.
  • Insurance carriers are making amendments to their plans to allow for short-term disability on 1st day illness as it pertains to COVID-19 where plans usually have a 5-7 day sickness eligibility period.

Canadian government recommendations

  • An official travel advisory is in effect: avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.
  • The Government of Canada has put in place an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that applies to all travelers arriving in Canada in order to slow the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in Canada.  Compliance with this Order is subject to monitoring, verification and enforcement. Those in violation may face detention in a quarantine facility as well as fines and/or imprisonment.
  • For more advice on traveling to these countries, refer to the available travel advice and advisories.

Helpful resources

Cowan’s COVID-19 Employer Resource Page

Ontario Ministry of Labor

Canadian Government’s COVID-19 Resource Page

Canadian Travel Notices


This coronavirus update for employers in Canada is one of a series dedicated to helping global workforce managers navigate the evolving challenges brought on by COVID-19. Expect regular articles such as this from the Asinta Partnership as the global impact of the coronavirus unfolds.