Navigating COVID-19 in Canada

In these times of uncertainty, it's paramount that employers stay abreast of the latest recommendations for employee safety

Navigating COVID-19 in Canada

In these times of uncertainty, it’s paramount that employers stay abreast of the latest recommendations for employee safety—while also taking into consideration all legal obligations and implications that may arise as a result.

As industry leaders, Ultimate Software is committed to providing employers with the latest advice on the unfolding COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

As such, HRD spoke to Stuart Rudner, employment lawyer, mediator and founder of Rudner Law, who hosted Ultimate’s recent webinar, “Navigating COVID-19 in Canada.”

“The last few weeks have seen unprecedented developments and change,” prefaced Rudner.

“A few weeks ago, many of us were planning vacations and looking forward to spring. Within the last few days, however, nearly all entertainment activities have been suspended, including theatre shows and all major sports events. Further, school closures have been implemented indefinitely, most childcare programs and activities have been cancelled, and we are being encouraged to socially distance ourselves or to self-isolate. All this in hopes of effectively limiting the risk of spreading this new virus that is impacting us globally.”

This unprecedented era will undoubtedly herald significant changes for employers and employees alike. How organizations handle these challenges will echo into the next decade—with people remembering both the good and the bad aspects of their experiences.

HR professionals are faced with scenarios never before seen in our world of work. It’s essential, therefore, to stay ahead of the curve, stay up to date on new developments, and not make assumptions.  One common misconception, for example, is that employers automatically have the right to lay people off temporarily. Many don’t, and if they do so, may expose the business to costly liability.

Rudner highlighted some common questions asked by employers with regards to COVID-19, including:

  • What are my wage- or salary-payment obligations to employees if I decide to temporarily close my operations?
  • If an employee chooses not to attend work, what are our rights and obligations?
  • What are my legal obligations as an employer if I find that an employee in the workplace tests positive for COVID-19?
  • What happens if an employee refuses to come to work?

To hear the answers to these questions, and many more, register online for the recent free webinar, “Navigating COVID-19 in Canada.”

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