From the desk of:


Matthew Wise


COVID-19 Employment Law

The global pandemic caused by COVID-19 has created unprecedented uncertainty regarding an employer’s obligations to their employees. MSM is here to help.

In a time of rapidly changing government policy, MSM’s team of experienced employment lawyers are staying up to date to ensure that we have the answers for our employer clients:

Q: Can an employer lay off its employees if the business needs to be shut down due to COVID-19 concerns?
A: When the work slows down, it is important for your business to understand whether it can layoff an employee and ensure that it follows necessary procedure and protocol.
Q: Do I need a work-from-home policy?
A: With many employers giving their employees the option to work from home, it is important that every employee understands their obligation to keep the employer’s confidential information protected.
Q: If an employee’s job cannot be done remotely, is an employer required to create work for an employee that would allow them to work remotely?
A: An employer does not have to invent a different job or create work for an employee in order to allow them to work remotely. However, as a best practice, an employer should ensure that they have explored all options to determine whether remote work is possible in the circumstances.
Q: What financial support is available to employers in response to COVID-19?
A: MSM is staying up to date with all economic relief programs offered by the government and can assist with helping employers navigate a novel and complicated system.
Q: Does an employer have to pay an employee who is unable to work due to COVID-19?
A: Employees who are in quarantine are entitled to take an unpaid leave of absence from the workplace. Employers should also encourage employees to apply for benefits under the Canadian Emergency Response Plan. Many employers are offering paid sick days to employees to cover this time, but this is not legally required.
Q: Are lenders advancing business loans to assist employers during difficult economic times?
A: MSM partners with several national banks and lenders and can help facilitate financing to help your business get through a difficult economic period.

What MSM Can Do to Help
MSM’s Employment Law team is always available to discuss these and any other questions with employers who need advice and guidance in dealing with their employees and navigating their business through a complicated and constantly evolving economic period.