Even as vaccine rollouts are happening, the country is still struggling with the pandemic. New strains and resurging waves of the virus have forced the Canadian provinces to resort to repeating lockdowns. If you run a business in the country, you need to align in more than one way. Going back to remote work is the only way to stay operations, but you also need to understand your responsibilities as an employer and stay true to them through the crisis. Not doing so can land you on the wrong side of the employment law. Here are some things you must consider to align your role as an employer in a challenging situation.
Ensure employee safety at the workplace
Protecting employees and the workplace should be the top priority for any employer. Start by communicating to employees that they should not come to work if they have symptoms. Ensuring that they follow social distancing protocol and have access to adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) at work is also your responsibility. You also need to go the extra mile with premises sanitization and cleaning, particularly if there have been recent cases. Consider closing down the facility and going remote when it seems necessary.
Offer support to remote workers
At this point, remote work is an essential element of business operations. You may have a part of your team working from home at all times, or going fully remote may be the only option during lockdowns. It is vital to bear in mind that employee entitlement to sick leave, vacation time, and other benefits continue to be the same even as they work from home. You must stay ahead of the employment law of your province to make sure that the business is compliant with it. Consulting an expert Toronto Employment Lawyer at sultan lawyers for guidance on remote work norms can help you fine-tune your remote work policies if you operate in Toronto. Besides being compliant, you must provide all the infrastructural and moral support your people need to give their best while working from home.
Prioritize employee engagement
Whether your team works at the office or from home, you also need to go the extra mile with employee engagement. They will require additional support right now as fear, anxiety, the uncertainty are rampant. People are worried about caring for a sick loved one, sending their kids back to school, and retaining their jobs. Employers can play a crucial role at such times by lending a hand and showing they care for the employees. Engagement at this point is more about seeking feedback on your health and safety practices and taking steps to improve them according to employee inputs.
The ongoing pandemic has brought an unprecedented time for employers as they have to ensure compliance with current employment-related legislation and COVID-19 safety protocols while working on staying afloat. It makes sense to have a seasoned employment lawyer guiding you so that you can be stress-free about the legal hassles related to non-compliance with the Canadian employment law.