The Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV or Coronavirus) was first identified by Chinese officials at the end of December 2019. It originated in Hubei Province and by the end of January 2020, had spread to thousands of people in that area, primarily around the City of Wuhan.

The Coronavirus has now been identified in other countries, including Canada. Canadian health officials state that the risk of contracting Coronavirus here is very low, but by the end of January 2020 cases of Coronavirus in Canada had been confirmed.

While the chances of a mass outbreak are low, nonetheless, prudent employers will want to understand their legal obligations to employees who may become ill or refuse to work, and to have a plan in place to deal with any potential impact on their workplace.

Hicks Morley has the expertise to guide employers through the potential impact the Coronavirus may have on your workplace. For example, we can:

  • identify your legal obligations in the workplace, including health and safety
  • guide you through the statutory benefits that may be available to employees and assist in interpreting other benefit plans that you may have
  • help you assess the privacy implications relating to employees who might be infected and navigate the collection of medical information
  • assist with developing emergency preparedness or pandemic plans relating to the workplace
  • help you manage absenteeism through the development of contingency plans
  • and more.

The Hicks Morley Advantage

We’ve been here before. Hicks Morley advised employers on pandemic planning during the SARS crisis in 2003 and the H1N1 scare in 2009. The virus may be different, but the planning and protocols are the same. While no one wants to see the Coronavirus spread, we have the expertise and can help you prepare for any eventuality.

As recognized leaders in the areas of employment and labour law, Hicks Morley is well-positioned to assist you in your compliance obligations, developing contingency plans and managing the health and safety of your workforce.