Topic: Coronavirus

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Ontario employers, cover up! Mandatory face-covering orders now in effect in Toronto, Ottawa, and beyond

While Stage 3 allows many businesses in Ontario to reopen and to welcome returning employees back to the physical workplace, employers and service providers—as operators of enclosed public spaces and establishments—must meet certain recently announced conditions. As of July 7, 2020, at 12:01 a.m., these conditions now include the mandatory covering of the mouth, nose and chin for members of the public and employees in indoor public spaces in Ontario’s two largest municipalities, Toronto and Ottawa. On July 30, 2020, the Province of Ontario unveiled its plan for reopening schools in the 2020-2021 school year, which will require students … Continue Reading

Pandemic check: face covering requirements for federally regulated employers in Canada

In certain provinces, masks and face coverings have now or will soon become mandatory in certain indoor establishments accessible to the public, including in, or in parts of, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia. Recently, in Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia also announced that masks will be required as of July 31 in enclosed public places.

In the federal sphere, the Labour Program has not imposed mandatory face covering requirements in establishments operated by federally regulated employers and service providers. However, current public health guidance informs that face coverings can be an effective form of protection from the … Continue Reading

À savoir sur la pandémie : exigences en matière de couvre-visage pour les employeurs sous réglementation fédérale au Canada

Dans certaines provinces, le port d’un masque et d’un couvre-visage est maintenant, ou sera bientôt, obligatoires dans certains établissements intérieurs accessibles au public, notamment en Ontario (en anglais seulement), au Québec, en Alberta et en Colombie-Britannique (en anglais seulement), ou dans certaines parties de ces provinces. Récemment, au Canada atlantique, la Nouvelle-Écosse a également annoncé que le port du masque sera exigé à partir du 31 juillet dans les lieux publics fermés.

Du côté du gouvernement fédéral, le Programme du travail n’a pas imposé de mesures obligatoires en matière de couvre-visage dans les établissements exploités par des employeurs et … Continue Reading

US: Virginia becomes first state to adopt COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard

On July 27, 2020, the first state “Emergency Temporary Standard” (ETS) for COVID-19 went into effect. The ETS requires employers in the state to develop and implement COVID-19 prevention and control measures in the workplace. The ETS is in effect for six months, although this period could be shortened if the Virginia State of Emergency expires, a permanent standard is enacted or the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board repeals it.

Employers covered by the Emergency Temporary Standard

The ETS applies to all public and private employers and places of employment in Virginia, with the exception of federal employers, private … Continue Reading

A reminder to BC employers: Family care obligations to accommodate family care needs amid pandemic

Covid-19 has made working from home the new normal for many employees. This new reality has created challenges for employees  who, due to the closure of schools, daycares and other social services, have had to serve as full-time caregivers in addition to carrying out their everyday work tasks. Under these circumstances, it is important for employers to understand their obligations for accommodating the family care needs of employees.

Family status accommodation during Covid-19

The issue of family status accommodation is not new. In past newsletters we have explored how various tribunals across Canada have come up with differing tests on … Continue Reading

New law to ensure furloughed employees receive full redundancy payments

The UK Government has published legislation, which will ensure that all furloughed employees receive statutory redundancy pay based on their normal wages, rather than a reduced furlough rate.

The Employment Rights Act 1996 (Coronavirus, Calculation of a Week’s Pay) Regulations 2020 (the Regulations) ensure that various statutory entitlements based on a week’s pay and connected with the termination of employment are not reduced as a result of an employee being furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The entitlements included in the Regulations are:

  • redundancy pay for those with more than 2 years’ continuous service who are made redundant and
Continue Reading

Quelques précisions sur les conséquences de la pandémie pour les employeurs au Canada : dispositions clés en matière de licenciement collectif

Alors que bon nombre d’employés regagnent progressivement leurs lieux de travail physiques ou leurs chantiers, il est encourageant de constater que les gouvernements ont amorcé la levée des restrictions imposées aux employeurs. En effet, près d’un million de personnes au Canada ont trouvé un emploi entre mai et juin. Cela dit, partout au pays, les employeurs sont toujours à la recherche de tactiques pour mieux réussir à tirer leur épingle du jeu dans le présent contexte d’incertitude quant à l’avenir.

Dans certains cas, certains employeurs pourraient être obligés d’envisager des licenciements collectifs en raison de la nécessité d’adapter et de … Continue Reading

More on employer pandemic consequences in Canada: key “group” termination considerations

As many employees gradually return to the physical workplace or jobsite, governments are encouragingly lifting restrictions on employers. Indeed, nearly one million people in Canada found jobs between May and June. Nonetheless, employers across the country are continually reassessing how to best position themselves for what remains an uncertain future.

In some cases, the need to adapt and maintain operational capacity may require employers to consider group or mass terminations. Generally, mass terminations are governed by applicable labour standards legislation and regulations. To that end, remember that in Canada each jurisdiction has slightly different rules regarding group terminations. This piece … Continue Reading

Employeurs de l’Ontario : des décrets sur les masques obligatoires sont désormais en vigueur à Toronto et à Ottawa

*La version actualisée du présent billet de blogue peut être consultée, en anglais, en cliquant ici.*

Alors que l’étape 2 permet aux entreprises de l’Ontario de rouvrir et d’accueillir les employés sur le lieu de travail physique, les employeurs et les fournisseurs de services doivent remplir certaines conditions qui ont été récemment annoncées. Depuis le 7 juillet 2020 à 0 h 1, cela inclut le port obligatoire d’un masque couvrant la bouche et le nez pour les membres du public et les employés dans les espaces publics intérieurs des deux plus grandes municipalités de l’Ontario, Toronto (en anglais … Continue Reading

US: California: San Francisco employees laid off due to COVID-19 may have reemployment rights under new ordinance

On July 3, San Francisco’s new “Back to Work” emergency ordinance took effect, requiring employers to rehire certain employees laid off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic when the employer seeks to fill the same position formerly held by the laid-off worker, or a substantially similar position. The ordinance will expire on September 2, 2020, but may continue if extended by the City of San Francisco.  For more information on the requirements of this new ordinance creating special reemployment rights, see our legal update, With San Francisco’s Back to Work Ordinance now in effect, employees laid-off due to COVID-19 Continue Reading

UK Government: Plan for Jobs

On 8 July, the UK Chancellor announced proposals to help UK businesses have the confidence to retain and hire staff. The Government announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has helped employers pay the wages of 9 million employees across the UK.  However, the scheme will come to an end on 31 October 2020 and as the economy is now beginning to reopen, the summer economic update looks at the Government’s second phase of its response to the Coronavirus with a targeted Plan for Jobs.

The Plan includes the following proposals to support employers:

  • A Job Retention Bonus. This will
Continue Reading

Say It Ain’t So, I Will Not Go: Responding to Employee Requests to Not Return to the Workplace in British Columbia

Following the unveiling of BC’s Restart Plan, and as part of the province’s transition to the “new normal”, many British Columbian employers are welcoming their employees back to the traditional pre-pandemic workplace.  However, given the current climate of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers will inevitably be met with requests from employees wishing to not return to the physical workplace for fear of contracting COVID-19.  Some of these requests will be justified or reasonable but others will not, and this legitimacy will not always be immediately clear for the responding employer.

In order to determine whether a request not to report … Continue Reading

Nouveauté pour les employeurs québécois : Publication de la Charte d’engagement à combattre le coronavirus en milieu de travail

La Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) a récemment publié en ligne la Charte d’engagement à combattre le coronavirus en milieu de travail (Charte). Celle-ci vise essentiellement à ce que les employeurs et les travailleurs coopèrent en matière de prévention pour diminuer les risques que pose la COVID-19 sur la santé et la sécurité en milieu de travail. Elle reconnaît l’importance de chaque acteur dans cet effort de prévention et souligne la nécessité de mettre en place des mesures concertées, fondées sur la protection des travailleurs.

À … Continue Reading

New Guidance published for flexible furlough scheme

On 12 June the UK Government issued details of the flexible furlough arrangement which will operate from 1 July 2020. The new scheme will allow employees to work for their employer during some of the period and the employer will still be able to claim under the scheme in respect of the time where employees are on furlough.

Existing guidance has been updated and new guidance notes and examples have been published to cover the new flexibility.

What restrictions are there to an employer’s use of the scheme?

From 1 July employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for … Continue Reading

For your consideration: Varying BC employment agreements amid pandemic

As employers prepare for the cautious reopening of the economy and the gradual return to the physical workplace, questions on altering the terms of an existing employment agreement could certainly arise for a number of legitimate reasons.

Specifically, employers often ask under what circumstances they can make changes to existing employment agreements. Commonly, employers face two important sub-questions in that regard. First, must employers obtain employee consent before making any changes to terms of employment? Second, must employers provide consideration for such changes to make them enforceable at law?

A recent decision from the British Columbia Court of … Continue Reading

Conseils de santé et sécurité pour les chantiers de construction en Ontario : Au-delà des masques et de la distanciation sociale

Le 14 mai 2020, le premier ministre de l’Ontario a annoncé que certains lieux de travail pouvaient commencer à rouvrir puisque la première étape du cadre visant le déconfinement de la province avait reçu le feu vert. L’étape 1 comportait la levée des restrictions précédemment imposées aux activités et projets de construction.

Le mardi 19 mai 2020 à minuit une, la liste des lieux de travail essentiels a été modifiée afin de permettre la reprise des activités ou projets de construction et services connexes de soutien à ces activités ou projets, et tout le secteur s’est bel et bien remis … Continue Reading

Health and safety tips for Ontario’s construction job sites: masks, social distancing, and more

Ontario’s Premier announced on May 14, 2020 that select workplaces could start reopening as stage 1 of the Framework for Reopening the Province was given the green light. As part of the first stage, the previous restrictions on certain construction projects and activities were lifted.

On Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 am, the list of essential workplaces was amended to permit all construction activities, projects and related services that support construction projects to reopen and all of  the industry has effectively been back online since then. Although some restrictions have lifted, it is certainly not business as usual and … Continue Reading

Furloughing new employees – deadline 10 June 2020

As set out in our previous blog post here the UK: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)  is changing.  This means that the CJRS is closing to new entrants form 30 June. Any new employees who an employer may wish to furlough and who have not already been furloughed,  must be placed on furlough on or before 10 June.

The new flexible furlough scheme means that employees will be able to return to work on a part time basis without affecting their employers’ right to claim under the CJRS in respect of the non-working days.

Full guidance regarding the amended scheme … Continue Reading

Preparing to return to the workplace: What should German employers be doing?

Public life is slowly returning to normality in Germany as stores, restaurants and cafes begin to  reopen. However, a return to ”business as usual“ seems a long way off. Companies and employers need to consider different priorities and complex provisions when preparing the return to the workplace.

In general, employers have a duty to take reasonable care of the health and safety of their employees. They have to assess possible risks to employees’ safety and health and take measures based on this assessment as well as identify and take additional measures where necessary to ensure the workplace is safe.… Continue Reading

Flexible Furlough –Changes to the UK Job Retention Scheme

On 29 May, the UK Chancellor provided details of the proposed changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The changes require employers to start sharing the cost of the furlough arrangement and allow a more flexible approach to working while on furlough.

New Flexibility

The Government is introducing a more flexible furlough arrangement.  Employers will be able to bring previously furloughed employees back to work part time from 1 July, a month earlier than previously announced.

Employers will have flexibility to determine the hours worked and the shift pattern for their employees. They will then pay the full wages … Continue Reading

Fin des classes : Aide relative à la pandémie pour les étudiants, les jeunes et les employeurs

Plusieurs étudiants au Canada comptent sur les emplois d’été pour gagner un revenu entre les sessions d’études secondaires ou postsecondaires. Toutefois, il pourrait s’avérer difficile pour les étudiants qui terminent leurs cours en cette année scolaire de décrocher un emploi stable pendant la saison estivale.

Programme Emplois d’été Canada

Le programme Emplois d’été Canada (EEC) offre des contributions aux employeurs comptant moins de 50 employés afin qu’ils créent des emplois d’été de qualité pour les jeunes âgés de 15 à 30 ans qui sont légalement autorisés à travailler au Canada. La pandémie de COVID-19 a eu des répercussions tant sur … Continue Reading

School’s out for summer: Pandemic assistance for students, youth and employers

Many students in Canada rely on summer jobs to generate income between semesters of high school or post-secondary education. However, students completing their studies this academic year may find it challenging to secure steady employment during the summer months.

Canada Summer Jobs Program

The Canada Summer Jobs Program (CSJ) program provides subsidies to employers with less than 50 employees in order to create quality summer work experiences for youth aged 15 to 30 years, and who are legally entitled to work in Canada. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on both CSJ job-seekers and the employers that typically hire … Continue Reading

US: Return to work in an office environment: Employer considerations and best practices

Many businesses quickly shifted to remote work, where possible, and abandoned operations in an office setting when COVID-19 became a pandemic or when jurisdictions required or encouraged people to stay at home. Now, as these businesses contemplate resuming operations in the general office setting, they are grappling with a myriad of issues and concerns.  See our article COVID-19:  Best practice considerations for resuming work in an office setting for employer considerations for resuming work in the office setting, including advice on determining when to reopen, determining modifications to be made in the workplace, employee communication and training considerations, implementing the … Continue Reading

Licenciements collectifs : considérations pratiques pour les employeurs québécois

Dernièrement, dans le contexte de la COVID-19, certaines entreprises se sont vues contraintes de cesser temporairement ou de réduire substantiellement leurs activités, entraînant ainsi nombre de mises à pied. Alors que des économistes prévoient un ralentissement économique important en raison de la pandémie, les employeurs québécois peuvent légitimement se demander s’ils seront en mesure de rappeler leurs salariés au travail une fois les mesures de confinement levées, voire même être confrontés à la difficile décision de procéder à des licenciements collectifs.

Qu’est-ce qu’un licenciement collectif?

Au Québec, le licenciement collectif est la terminaison d’emploi d’au moins dix (10) salariés d’un … Continue Reading