As we are all aware, the World Health Organization has declared a global health emergency as it relates to the coronavirus. To date, over 200 people have died and almost 10,000 cases have been confirmed.

It is the employer’s obligation in Canada to maintain a safe work environment. As a result, we recommend the following steps to be taken:

  1. Communicate with your employees about precautions to be taken including enforcement of quarantines.
  2. If an employee or family member with whom they are close or live with has been to China or has come in contact with someone with the virus, then they must disclose it to the employer and be quarantined for the recommended 14 days. This quarantine should be with pay.
  3. If an employee exhibits signs of illness, they must stay at home and can then use the employer’s sick leave benefits.
  4. In either case upon return to work after a quarantine or after recovering from illness, the employer is entitled to require a certificate of good health before the employee returns to the workplace.
  5. A clearly communicated policy to all employees should be in place to ensure consistent application and best practices in order to maintain and monitor safe workplaces.