The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, was declared an international pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020, and both employers and employees are understandably worried about the impact the virus will have on our everyday lives and the workplace.
Today, Premier Ford declared a state of emergency in Ontario, Canada.
COVID-19 is forcing many Ontario businesses to consider work-from-home strategies, paid and unpaid time off for their employees, and even short term closures. At Minken Employment Lawyers, we are diligently assisting our clients to manage these challenges at their workplace, and making every effort at our firm to ensure this situation does not impact the quality of service and support that our lawyers and staff provide to our clients.
Our Current Status
We are constantly monitoring the COVID-19 situation and we will act and implement necessary cautions accordingly. Our priority is the health and safety of our staff, clients, families and colleagues. Alternate measures of conducting “business as usual” has been done to maximize ‘social distancing” and minimize interaction. For example, we have taken reasonable steps to ensure the safety of our lawyers and staff, including providing notification to them of methods of ensuring a safe workplace. Client meetings with our lawyers and staff are being done by teleconference or video-conference. Interaction among our staff has also been limited.
At this time our office remains open to our lawyers and staff, but we are prepared in the event that all or some of our members need to work remotely. We already had technology in place that enables us provide uninterrupted service to our clients in the event that some or all of our members are working remotely. Our IT team is constantly updating and improving this for us. Yesterday, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice notified us that their operation is suspended until further notice and therefore any deadlines will be deferred. Regarding future Mediations, we will have the option of attending these in person or by telephone or videoconference, or rescheduling. For the time being, we kindly request your cooperation in conducting all meetings and consultations over the phone or by videoconference.
How We Can Help You
As experienced employment lawyers with expert knowledge on the obligations of employers and rights of employees in these unusual times, we remain committed 24/7 to sharing up-to-date and helpful information with all our clients on how to comply with the Canada Labour Code, Employment Standards Act, 2000, Human Rights Code, and Occupational Health & Safety Act by ensuring safety and well-being for their workers in the workplace.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions, and keep an eye out for our newsletter and blog posts on Social Media for further updates on the status of our operations and additional helpful information on managing COVID-19 in the workplace.
For more information please download the Employer’s Guide to COVID-19 & the Workplace.