March 30, 2020

Province Issues Second Emergency Order for Long Term Care

What you need to know

On Saturday, Ontario Minister of Long-Term Care Merrilee Fullerton issued a second emergency order for long term care, which could change the way you are working. The order, which is in effect for 14 days, makes the following changes:

  • Limits reporting and documentation obligations to significant incidents and those required to ensure proper care and safety of a resident, including limiting change to care plans that are significant and that staff must be immediately aware of
  • Allows employers to fill any staff position with the person who, in their reasonable opinion, has the adequate skills, training, and knowledge to perform the duties required of that position
  • Waives the minimum number of staffing hours set out in the Long-Term Care Homes Act (LTCHA) and Ontario Regulation 79/10 provided all care requirements are met
  • Allows employers to waive police check requirements provided that they adopt other measures that ensure resident care and safety
  • Waives the training and orientation requirements set out in the LTCHA provided that employers ensure staff and volunteers take measures to ensure resident care and safety
  • Allows employers to adopt flexible practices related to the administration of drugs to residents provided that the practices are consistent with and within the scope of practice of the person administering the drug
  • These changes allow you to advocate for the elimination of any documentation requirements that you do not think are necessary. The minister assured us that these orders are only temporary and should not result in using unqualified workers if qualified workers are available.

This second emergency order follows the first order issued a week ago. The minister briefed CLAC representatives about the second order on Friday night. At the meeting, we again

  • Raised concerns about the lack of personal protective equipment in homes
  • Advocated for a $2 per hour raise for all long term care workers during the crisis
  • Advocated that workers be paid overtime for all hours worked during a COVID-19 outbreak in a home
  • During these times, please be extra vigilant about reporting unsafe conditions. Please also be alert for workers who are untrained and who may require additional oversight or support to perform routine tasks.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate contact your CLAC representative.