Health and safety

Going back in stages: Now What?

October 14, 2020

There has been a lot of discussion in the media recently surrounding the second wave of COVID-19. Areas considered to be hot spots have been implementing additional public health measures, and some have been ordered by their provincial governments to move back to earlier stage restrictions. Many employers are questioning what to do if they are ordered to revert to modified early stages.

The first step you should take is to closely monitor for updates. With all the news coming out, it can be tricky for employers to find information specific to them. Our members get access to our Compliance Centre, which is a great resource for getting information relevant to you as an employer. Each article contains action steps and related resources, so that in addition to staying informed, you also receive the tools to execute any changes or updates. Be sure to also check your local government sites often so you understand your evolving obligations.

Next, review the procedures you created earlier this year. Remember to step back and analyze what went well, and what caught you off guard. It may be beneficial to modify procedures so they are more clear, concise, and focused. If you are looking to add or update policies to align with changes to procedures, we have thousands of policy templates to help you get started, plus we’ve added several COVID-19 specific policies to our COVID-19 Resource Centre.

Communicating to your employees is another important step. Employees may be hearing the news of the “second wave” and becoming concerned. It is important that you keep the lines of communication open. Remember to develop a plan to tell employees what they need to know, without oversharing, concealing, or lying. Communicate early, often, and clearly. You may not have all the answers but keeping employees in the loop is essential.

The government recognizes that COVID-19 has been difficult on employers. Payroll subsidies, rent relief programs, business loan support, premium payment deferrals, and other financial support programs continue to be available to employers. Again, information can be found on government websites to help you determine whether your business qualifies for financial assistance to support you and your employees during this difficult time.

We are all in this together. Following the guidelines set out to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will benefit all Canadians as we navigate through uncertainty. Closely monitor for updates, review your procedures and update as necessary, communicate with your employees, and determine your eligibility for assistance. As always, continue to receive updates by subscribing to our blog and contact us to learn more about the tools and resources we have to support our members.

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