'A nightmare for employers': Companies getting ready to bring staff back to work, but lack of childcare a major obstacle – Financial Post

Brian Thiessen, QC

Jun 12, 2020

A recent article in the Financial Post looks at the challenges that employers are facing in preparing to bring employees back to work, as restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic begin to ease. According to author Geoffrey Morgan, “[t]he need for companies to bring employees back to work is running up against a number of occupational, health and safety issues, especially since employment law has been revised federally and provincially since lockdowns began in March.” As well, companies are trying innovative ways to handle employee concerns, such as renting out parking lots so staff can drive to work rather than take public transit.

“Employers are being incredibly creative in how they deal with it,” says Brian Thiessen, a partner in Osler’s Employment and Labour Group.

According to the article, employers are also increasingly finding creative ways to accommodate employees with young children, since “in many cases they have lost childcare through either forced closures or phased reopenings of facilities, or because schools are closed.” As the article reports, some of the options employers are considering include offering nannies, finding daycare spaces or allowing more flexible working hours.

Brian tells the Financial Post that the most obvious and easiest way for companies to accommodate such employees is giving them the flexibility to continue working from home. “The best and easiest way to take pressure off is to take your time on the physical return to work,” he says.

For more information, read Geoffrey Morgan’s full article, “'A nightmare for employers': Companies getting ready to bring staff back to work, but lack of childcare a major obstacle” in the Financial Post.