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How to Facilitate Employees Return to Work During COVID-19 Times

Dear Employers, 

Are you unsure:

  • What your legal obligations are towards your employees and clients?
  • How can you make your workplace safe?
  • How can you reduce risk of infections?

Here are some tips you can consider while resuming operations:

  1. Implement and execute Covid-19 policies as provided on the OHS website.
  2. Ask employees to self-assess themselves in the morning to see if they have any symptoms. If there are any symptoms, such as fever, cough, cold, difficulty breathing, or tiredness, then that employee must stay at home.
  3. Any employee who is showing any symptoms of virus is immediately sent home.  Prior to the employee’s return to work he or she is asked to provide a doctor’s note or Covid-19 test results to prove that employee is fit to return to work.
  4. Provide sanitizers and alcohol based cleaning wipes to employees to clean their workspace and common areas.
  5. Make it mandatory for employees to wash hands when they come to work and leave work.
  6. Make it mandatory for employees to wear face masks and other PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).
  7. Install plexi-glass at the cashiers, front desk, and other customer interaction areas.
  8. Minimize customers face to face interaction with employees.
  9. Self-assess your business to determine how you can reduce the risk. Some of the options are:

    a. Can workstations of employees be moved further away?

    b. Have minimum staff on site (and rest can work from home).

    c. Sanitize workplace after every few hours.

    d. All high traffic areas are cleaned regularly and doorknobs, handles etc are cleaned every hour.

    e. Markers are created for customers.

    f. Enable and encourage employees to continue working from home:

         i. Be creative and experiment.

         ii. Can employees work on projects when they are working from home?

         iii. Enable video conferencing of employees with clients.
  10. Any customer who is exhibiting any symptoms of sickness is required to immediately leave the premises.

The Occupational Health & Safety Act of Alberta requires that employers maintain safe and healthy work environment for employees. Contact Megha Sharma to discuss your concerns, draft Covid-19 policies and minimize your liability during these unprecedented times.

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Shim Law is a multicultural law firm that provides legal services to clients in Calgary and around the world. With lawyers fluent in up to 20 languages, we can provide accurate legal representation regardless of language barriers. Our practice areas include family law, real estate law, and more.

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