Ontario businesses are starting to reopen during COVID-19 recovery. Are you ready?
- May 14, 2020
- Posted by: Ian Elliott
- Categories: Business plans, COVID-19
Premier Doug Ford announced on Thursday May 14th that Ontario’s first stage of economic recovery is here and it will include multiple workplaces, seasonal activities and healthcare services.
Effective May 19th stores with street entrances (outside shopping malls) can reopen as long as they are respecting physical distancing measures. Libraries will be open for pick up and some property management services such as pool maintenance, painting and cleaning services will be allowed to resume.
Framework for Reopening our Province, Government of Ontario)
Businesses that are named in stage 1 must ensure that they are keeping their workplaces safe. Key workplace safety considerations include:
- The risk of the spread of COVID-19 in each workplace or sector
- The ability to conduct business and/or services remotely
- The ability to adjust business and/or service practices to ensure physical distancing, enhanced hygiene and cleaning, monitoring of sick workers and use of personal protective equipment if necessary
- The ability to clean workplaces, which may require restrictions on space available to employees and customers.
The Premier also announced the creation of a government website dedicated to helping employers locate personal protective equipment: www.ontario.ca/ppe
Stage 2, which is anticipated in 2-4 weeks, will consider:
- opening more workplaces with significant mitigation plans
- opening more public spaces
- allowing some larger public gatherings
- continued protections for vulnerable populations
Do you have a plan to reopen your business safely?
Don’t forget that while the COVID-19 situation is changing daily, the legislation and regulations used to govern Ontario’s workplaces remain in force:
“Under Ontario law, employers have the duty to take every reasonable precaution to protect workers from hazards in the workplace. Hazards in the workplace should be controlled. Workers have the right to refuse unsafe work.” (Public Services Health & Safety Association)
We can help you and your business successfully reopen and provide recommendations on ways to keep your employees safe while resuming business operations.
Download our COVID-19 Services Sheet
Employers should anticipate Human Resource management challenges such as:
- Leave Entitlements
- Rights for Employers and Employees
- Harassment and Privacy issues
- Contracts and terminations/shortages of work