WSIB Reimbursement for COVID-19 Related Time-Off

Employers may now submit Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (“WSIB”) claims to be reimbursed up to $200 per employee, per sick day used under the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit.

On April 29, 2021, the Ontario Government made an amendment to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) which required employers to provide employees with up to three days of paid Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (“IDEL”) for certain reasons related to COVID-19. Under this program, employers are generally required to pay employees wages they would have earned, up to $200 a day, for up to three days. Eligible employers may now apply for reimbursement for the IDEL pay that they paid to their employees (as defined by the ESA), up to $200 per employee per calendar day taken. This reimbursement is only for IDEL pay, and employers are not entitled for vacation pay reimbursement.

Eligibility for Reimbursement

Employer eligibility depends on other employee rights. Generally, an employer is only eligible if the employee had less than three remaining paid sick days, the paid sick days pay less than the wages they would have earned while working, or if their contract is more restrictive than the ESA.

  1. An employee used some paid leave in their employment contract
    • Example #1: The employee used all three of their three days of paid leave prior to April 19, 2021. The employee would then be entitled to three days of paid leave and the employer could apply for reimbursement for these three days.
    • Example #2: The employee used two out of five days of paid leave prior to April 19, 2021. The employee would have no entitlement under the ESA because they still have three paid days remaining and the employer would not be eligible for reimbursement.
  2. An employment contract provided less pay than the ESA entitlement
    • For example, an employee’s paid leave under their contract provides $100 for the day but the wages they would have been paid under the ESA are $150. If the employee takes paid IDEL, the employer can apply for reimbursement of $150.
  3. An employment contract is more restrictive than the ESA
    • For example, an employment contract requires a doctor’s note for sick days and the employee is sick with COVID-19. Under the ESA, an employee is not required to provide a doctor’s note for paid IDEL. If the employee takes paid IDEL, the employer would be eligible for reimbursement.

An employer is excluded from reimbursement if the employee received WSIB benefits for the same day of leave or the employer cancelled or rescinded the paid leave offered to their employees as part of an employment contract on or after April 19, 2021.


Applications for reimbursement of paid IDEL must be made within 120 days of the date the employer paid the employee. Applications can be made using this website.

For more information about receiving reimbursement for IDEL pay, including bulk applications, payment schedules and further support, please visit this Ontario Government website. If you have further questions about any COVID-19 support program please reach out to your Bateman MacKay Business Advisor.

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