It has been a couple months and we are still navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. While many of the initial issues have been addressed, we are still seeing some lingering concerns that are impacting businesses.
We know that management teams and HR personnel are busier than ever. We sympathize with everyone struggling personally or professionally as a result of the pandemic.
Our goal is to be a helpful resource, to open your eyes to some issues and to offer insight into some possible solutions.
Whether you have in-house counsel or not, there is a lot to tackle right now.
Here is an overview of the key areas of focus for businesses.
- Lay-offs. No one wants to let employees go. However sometimes it’s what needs to be done to survive the times. Ensure that you have followed the advice of your legal advisors. You want to treat your employee fairly and protect yourself. While this may not be avoidable, you don’t want to deal with anything worse by an error in how the lay-offs are handled. Terminations, lay-offs, notice periods, severance, rehiring and more are all vital to understand and properly execute.
- Safety issues are coming up for employers that still have an active workforce. Ensure you know your obligations and what you must provide to ensure your team is healthy and safe.
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) questions are coming up. It’s important to get the right info and access your benefits.
- Employment Insurance (EI) questions are on the rise as well. Understanding how it works makes it an easier process.
- Many employers have questions about their obligations to remote workers. There are issues of confidentiality and safety and multiple other issues that many employers haven’t had to deal with in the past.
- Digital contract execution is also an area we are seeing come up. Whether the contract is with an employee, partner, client or some other scenario, you need to ensure contracts are properly executed.
- Commercial leases are an area of concern for businesses that are struggling. Many tenants are interested in terminating their lease and want to better understand their options.
- Insurance questions are also new given that work environments are changing drastically. It isn’t always clear if insurance policies cover work being delivered remotely. Some companies incorrectly assume their previous policies will hold up in a new environment which isn’t necessarily true so having policies revised / revisited is important.
If you are unclear on how to handle any of the areas mentioned above, consult with your general counsel. If you are don’t have in-house counsel or if they are lacking in experience or expertise in any of these areas, look for outside support to supplement what your legal department can provide.
We offer virtual consultations at no charge, to determine if we are a good fit for your needs. We can handle all of your needs remotely. Our Bay St lawyers offer the experience and knowledge you need right now, at a price that is much lower than you would expect. Contact us today for your free consultation. Getting things in order to operate in this “new normal” is important and will protect you down the road if issues arise.