Can my employer just stop paying me because of COVID-19?

Answer

No. Your employer has to keep honouring your employment agreement. That means: 

  • If you are available to work - whether at home or not - people should either be fully paid or, if their employer is accessing the wage subsidy, their employer must make "best efforts" to fully pay them and should, at the very least, pay them the full amount of the subsidy.
  • Some employers are saying COVID-19 is an “act of god” (other terms used include “frustration of contract” and “force majeure”) so they don’t have to follow your employment agreement. This is not true. They still have to follow your employment agreement.
  • Some employers are saying they are “suspending” their business to stop paying people. Unless your employment agreement specifically covers this - suspension is illegal.