Changes in workplace structures as a result of COVID-19 are being referred to as “hybrid” workplaces, meaning that the workplace has different physical arrangements, different scheduling and communications, for example. Employers must understand the difficulties for employees adjusting to workplace changes.
This issue has arisen in several recent mediations that I have conducted. As regular readers will know, Employment Insurance benefits are usually deducted from money paid out in lieu of notice of dismissal. At mediation, the plaintiff will be asked if they received EI benefits; if they did, then a mechanism for obtaining a statement of account/debt from Service Canada, and a holdback of funds to cover any repayment obligation, is typical.
Vaccination has been touted as the key to a speedy return to normal following the last—seemingly interminable—18 months of pandemic life. With on-again-off-again lockdowns across Canada and wave after wave of spiking COVID cases, it’s encouraging to see provinces, territories and municipalities bolster their vaccination programs.