Employees: COVID-19 FAQ

COVID-19 has impacted the lives of many Islanders, including those in the workforce. The situation is rapidly evolving as information on supports becomes available. Check back to this page for frequent updates.

    Frequent Asked Questions for Workers

    NOTE for unionized workers: If the workplace is covered by a collective agreement, employees should discuss the matter with their union if there is some question on the interpretation of any of the layoff, leave and pay provisions.

    Can my employer ask me to work from home?

    Yes, if arrangements can be made for employees to work from home then the employer can ask an employee to do this.

    If I’m working from home will I be paid?

    Employers are expected to pay employees for any work done or services supplied to an employer.

    I am an essential worker, do I have to self-isolate?

    Learn more about Essential workers: Self-Isolation,Testing and Exemptions.

    My employer has closed due to COVID-19. What do I do?

    Generally, employers who are not having employees report to work and not paying their staff are being asked to file a Record of Employment (ROE) so those employees can qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. An ROE issued for EI is not considered a notice of termination under employment standards rules. 

    If you are not going to be working or receiving pay, you may qualify for Employment Insurance or the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit from the Government of Canada.

    Am I entitled to severance pay?

    If your employer has indicated that they are planning on having you return to work after the issues related to COVID-19 have passed then we are asking that this be treated as a leave of absence not currently covered by employment standards.

    However, if your employer is not planning on having you return to work then they are being advised that they must follow the Notice of Termination provisions under the Employment Standards Act.

    If you are concerned that your employer is not following the rules, contact the Employment Standards Branch at 902-368-5550 or toll free at 1-800-333-4362 with any questions.


    If I have to take 14 days to self-isolate, is my employer responsible to pay me during this time?

    Under the Employment Standards Act, the employer is not required to pay the employee if the employee is not performing any work for the employer.

    However, the Government of Canada has announced special Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits for those required to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19.

    Is my employer expected to lay me off during a required 14 day quarantine so that I can access employment insurance (EI) benefits?

    There is no requirement for an employer to terminate or lay off employees under the Employment Standards Act to create EI eligibility. The Record of Employment issued for EI purposes is not considered a notice of termination under employment standards rules. 

    What workplace health and safety considerations should I be aware of?

    The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) has prepared information to help employers and workers foster a healthy and safe workplace. Visit www.wcb.pe.ca.

    The WCB urges all employers and workers to follow the recommendations of the PEI Chief Public Health Office during the COVID-19 crisis.

    What should I expect if I have a Workers Compensation claim?

    Information for those who are on claim or need to submit a new claim is available from the Workers Compensation Board.

    Get Accurate Information

      Published date: 
      July 24, 2020
      Health and Wellness

      General Inquiries

      Department of Health and Wellness
      4th Floor North, Shaw Building
      105 Rochford Street
      Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

      Phone: 902-368-6414
      Fax: 902-368-4121