CNESST flexibility measures for employers and workers in response to COVID-19

To help clients during the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) is introducing special flexibility measures.

The CNESST will be flexible toward clients and will be lenient regarding deadlines prescribed by law for fulfilling an obligation. This measure does not, however, include obligations with respect to compliance with occupational health and safety rules, which must continue to apply, especially in the current situation.

Note that services relating to the eligibility of employment injuries, payment of income replacement benefits and the reimbursement of expenses are a priority and are maintained.

New flexibility measures:

  • Flexibility measure regarding payment of the Statement of Account

    Employers who are experiencing financial difficulties related to COVID‑19 and who are unable to pay the amount due for occupational health and safety in a single payment are invited to communicate with the CNESST to reach a payment agreement. CNESST will assess the possibility of setting payment terms adapted to their situation.

  • Flexibility measure for the allocation of employment injury costs

    Where income replacement benefits continue to be paid in specific situations where these benefits should have ended as of March 12 had it not been for COVID-19, the additional costs related to these benefits will not be charged to the employers' files. The CNESST will, on its own initiative, review and adjust the costs in the employers' files.

    The CNESST has adopted flexibility measures with respect to its orientation under section 326 of the AIAOD in order to be able to accept requests for the transfer of the cost of benefits when it is objectively demonstrated that the COVID-19 situation has had an impact on the progress of a worker's file.

  • Flexibility measure with respect to the insurance premium payment for employers receiving the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

    Employers who are receiving the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) do not have to pay insurance premiums to the CNESST, either on the amount of the subsidy or on the additional amount they may pay during this period, for weeks when workers do not perform any work. Consequently, no periodic payments need to be made on these amounts and the necessary adjustments can be made when the 2020 Statement of Wages is produced.

    However, for weeks where workers perform work, even on a part-time basis, employers must declare the entire subsidy and the additional amount they may pay to their workers in the calculation of periodic payments.

As of March 20, 2020:

  • employers have until August 31, 2020 to pay the amount indicated on their Statement of Account for their CNESST premiums. In addition, no penalties or interest will be charged during this time;
  • the deadline for filing the 2019 Statement of Wages has been extended. Employers have until June 1, 2020 to file their Statement of Wages;
  • there will be leniency with respect to deadlines for filing complaints, for example for providing documents required for an investigation;
  • we are asking our clients to primarily use our online services:
  • for suppliers who must produce an invoice for the CNESST, the 180-day billing period prescribed in the Regulation respecting medical aid will be calculated from the date the special measures implemented by the government are lifted. At the appropriate time, the CNESST will inform professional orders and associations of the exact start date of the calculation;
  • there will be no penalty for workers who were unable to keep their appointments for treatment (medical follow-up, physiotherapy, etc.). The CNESST will take the recommendations of professional orders and associations into account;
  • reimbursement of telemedical and telerehabilitation treatments, for example by telephone or online, is authorized;
  • the procedure for processing applications filed under the “For a Safe Maternity Experience Program” has been streamlined to facilitate access and protect the health of pregnant workers and their unborn or breastfed child. A pregnant or breastfeeding worker may stop working even before they have seen their doctor, under certain conditions, if there is a risk of exposure to COVID-19.

The CNESST is taking all necessary measures to safely maintain its core activities and is focusing on activities that have the greatest impact on its client services.

Note that the CNESST is monitoring the situation by the hour and may introduce other flexibility measures if necessary.

Find out more​

For more information about the coronavirus, you can consult: