Williams HR Law LLP

The Williams HR team: At your side in a time of crisis

March 18, 2020

The events of the past few days, marked by a dramatic escalation of the coronavirus pandemic, have put tremendous strain on virtually every organization across Canada.

The unprecedented crisis is forcing many management teams to consider temporary layoffs, major changes to workplace policies and other adjustments as they search for the ‘new normal’ across their businesses and industries. Rest assured, the Williams HR team is committed to helping your organization navigate the challenges that lie ahead. Our goal is to help you eventually restore your workplace to its pre-crisis levels of engagement, productivity and success.

Our primary focus at this time is the health and safety of our clients, employees, partners and other key stakeholders. We’ve enacted a firm-wide business continuity plan that includes several risk-mitigation measures designed to minimize the threat of COVID-19 spread. We can confirm that to date, none of our team have displayed the symptoms associated with or required testing for COVID-19.

Still, we are treating this situation very seriously and are closely monitoring and implementing the recommendations of local, provincial and federal health authorities.

We are introducing various measures to continue meeting expected levels of service until the crisis ends. Please note that client confidentiality remains paramount throughout this process. We have:

  • Changed in-person meetings to virtual meetings
  • Cancelled all business-related travel
  • Postponed speaking engagements and client workshops
  • Moved to a skeleton staff at our office and are requiring most employees to work from home
  • Implemented a business continuity plan to ensure our client service remains seamless and which involves taking measures to ensure the confidentiality of client information
  • Mandated social distancing standards for the handful of employees working from our office

We will continue to monitor government updates and will incorporate health authorities’ latest recommendations into our evolving workplace policies and procedures.

Given the extraordinary nature of this situation and the challenges it poses to so many employers, we will be providing your team with insights, updates and other communications to clarify your labour and employment law rights and obligations at this time. We will also offer HR best practices designed to help your leadership team maintain employee morale and productivity in the days, weeks and possibly months ahead. Lastly, we will be providing updates on legislative developments as Queen’s Park and Ottawa introduce new measures designed to help employers and employees weather the COVID-19 storm.

By all indications, this crisis will be protracted and will test many organizations’ ability to maintain product or service levels. We are with you every step of the way and will provide the insights and advice your organization needs to not only survive, but to emerge from this pandemic in the best possible position to restore bottom-line growth. As we noted in a recent bulletin, we believe the key to managing through this challenging time is to be prepared—not alarmed.

Until then, if you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly at lwilliams@williamshrlaw.com.

This blog is provided as an information service and summary of workplace legal issues. This information is not intended as legal advice.