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 are implementing additional public health measures, and provincial governments have reintroduced stricter controls in some areas. Many employers are questioning what to do if their region comes under further restrictions.

The first step 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, where we highlight workplace news and provide action steps and related resources, so that in addition to staying informed, you have the tools to make any changes or updates. Be sure to also check your local government sites often so that you understand your evolving obligations.

Next, review any procedures you created during the first wave. Remember to step back and analyse what went well and what caught you off guard. It may be beneficial to modify procedures so that they are more clear, concise, and focussed. 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, including several we’ve developed specifically to address COVID-19, available in our COVID-19 Resource Centre.

Communicating to your employees is another important step. Employees may be hearing news of the “second wave” and becoming concerned about what it means for them. It is important that you keep the lines of communication open. 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, and they continue to make payroll subsidies, rent relief programs, business loan support, premium payment deferrals, and other financial support programs 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 and update your procedures, 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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