Ontario Re-Opening – Take 3

Has your business been shut down for part of this pandemic, or maybe even all of this pandemic?  Do you have fewer employees in the office?  Did you have to email your employees new procedures and policies for the ever-changing guidelines issued by the government? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to do a thorough review of the company’s “onboarding” documents to ensure that any new policies and procedures that have been put in place the last year. 

Onboarding is a term that we often use which references employment agreements, employee handbooks and policies and procedures for new employees. 

What kinds of things could have changed for your business over the last year? 

Are hours of work a little more flexible, or do you require the same 9-5 hours?  Are you hiring new employees?  A review of your Employment Agreements will be required to make sure they reflect the way your business will run now and in the future.  Maybe the traditional Monday to Friday in the physical office is no longer required; perhaps working from home a few days a week is now an option.  If working from home is allowed, updating your policies and Employment Agreements to allow for that will be required. 

Not every job in a workplace is able to be conducted at home and spelling out in your Handbooks the roles that will allow for working from home and those that require in office attendance is a good idea.  Another time saver for the further could be having a special “Pandemic” policy.  This may well in fact cut down on scrambling in the future.   

Another thing for a company to look at is “corporate property”.  Do your employees now have company property at their homes now when they did not before? 

Of course, your company may not have any changes in how it is operating, but a lot has changed over these last 15 months and taking a hard look at all of your onboarding documents now will help for a smooth re-opening when we finally get there. 

Christine Allan, Law Clerk