Skip to content

Think: roadmap to recovery – Saskatchewan’s re-open plan is worthy of consideration

Rick Dunlop

The question on many businesses’ mind is when and what exactly does an end to the COVID-19 lockdown look like. The Economist describes various European government’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions as being done “gradually, cautiously, and with only a hazy idea of what works.” https://www.economist.com/international/2020/04/16/governments-are-starting-to-ease-restrictions.

The three questions governments have to tackle is:

  • When to lift the restrictions?
  • How to lift the restrictions?
  • What restrictions should be lifted first?

Reasonable people (and experts) can and do disagree. The Economist notes that Norway concluded that “closing primary schools and nurseries were among the costliest policies.” When Denmark opened its nurseries and primary schools on April 15 (with older children scheduled to return a month later) 40,000 Danes joined a Facebook Group called “My Kid is not going to be a Guinea Pig for COVID-19.”

In Canada, it appears that Saskatchewan is the first province to wade into the controversial waters in a substantive and public way by releasing Re-Open Saskatchewan: A plan to re-open the provincial economy.  Other provinces are likely to adopt a similar approach, but as is evident by WorkSafe New Brunswick’s continual temperature checking requirement, provinces will inevitably adopt different measures:

  1. Re-opening with a dimmer not a light switch.

The Saskatchewan Plan is “built on a methodical and phased-in approach to slowly and responsibly lift restrictions on business and services.”

  1. What do the phases look like?

Phase one – Medical services, golf courses (yes, golf courses), parks and campgrounds.

Phase two – Retail and select personal services (e.g. hairdresser, barber, massage therapist)

Phase three – Restaurants and food services (at 50% capacity), gyms and fitness centres, licensed establishments and child care facilities, remaining personal care services and increasing the size of public and private gatherings to 15 people.

Phase four – Indoor and outdoor recreation and entertainment facilities and increasing the size of public and private gatherings to 30 people.

Phase five – Consideration of lifting long-term restrictions.

  1. Workplace guidelines

The Saskatchewan Plan contains numerous workplace guidelines including:

  • Employers should have plans in place for increased worker absences due to illness or isolation.
  • Employers should have a workplace illness policy that includes the following provisions:
    • Sick employees must stay at home or be sent home.
    • Sick employees must use the Saskatchewan Government’s self-assessment tool for COVID-19.
    • If an employee goes home sick, their work area must be cleaned and disinfected.
  • Employers must take steps to identify hazards and take measures to control exposure:
  • Walk through of the workplace to identify specific conditions or tasks that increase exposure.
  • Consult with employees and occupational health and safety committee.
  • Determine whether the tasks that require Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can be performed later.

In contrast, WorkSafe NB released COVID-19: Health and safety measures for workplaces, which among other things, requires temperature checks at the start of each shift and must be repeated not more than every five hours thereafter.

  • Controlling the number of people at the workplace:
    • Do all your workers need to come to work?
    • Can some continue to work from home? (If the schools are not open, many workers will have to continue to work from home?)
    • Can you stagger “shifts” (or working hours)?
    • Is there adequate cleaning between “shifts”?
    • What is the core work? Can the core work be done safely and productively?
  1. Practical Tips

The Saskatchewan Plan also provides some practical tips:

  • The difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Disinfecting destroys germs; cleaning just removes dirt.
  • How to safely make a disinfecting solution.
  • Cloth mask guidelines.

Re-open Saskatchewan is a plan that is worthy of consideration given it will likely inform other provinces’ approaches.


This article is provided for general information only. If you have any questions about the above, please contact a member of our Labour and Employment group.

Click here to subscribe to Stewart McKelvey Thought Leadership articles and updates.

SHARE

Archive

Search Archive


 
 

Cybersecurity class actions against database defendants persist, but hurdles for plaintiffs remain

July 25, 2024

By Sarah Dever Letson, CIPP/C, Meaghan McCaw and Bertina Lou[1] Two decisions earlier this month from the Court of Appeal for British Columbia left open the question as to whether so-called “database defendants” can be held…

Read More

Let’s talk about batteries: Nova Scotia Power’s latest development in renewable energy

July 18, 2024

In conjunction with our upcoming sponsorship of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce luncheon, featuring the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources the Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, we are pleased to present a Thought Leadership article highlighting…

Read More

“Sale” away: The SCC’s more flexible approach to exclusion clauses in contracts for the sale of goods

July 9, 2024

By Jennifer Taylor & Marina Luro A recent Supreme Court of Canada decision has clarified how to interpret exclusion clauses in sale of goods contracts. The Court in Earthco Soil Mixtures Inc. v Pine Valley…

Read More

Recent case re-confirms temporary ailment is not a disability

June 24, 2024

By Mark Tector and Tiegan A. Scott Decision On April 3, 2024, the Alberta Court of King’s Bench (“ABKB”) upheld a decision of the Chief of the Commissions and Tribunals (the “CCT Decision”), which held…

Read More

Compensation for expropriation: Fair, but not more than fair

June 17, 2024

By Erin Best, Stephen Penney, Robert Bradley, Megan Kieley1 and Elizabeth Fleet1 Expropriation is a live issue in Canadian courts. The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to broaden the test for constructive expropriation in Annapolis…

Read More

Changes affecting federally regulated employers

June 10, 2024

By Killian McParland and Sophie Poulos There have been many changes in recent months affecting employers governed by federal labour and employment laws. In September 2024, Stewart McKelvey will be hosting a webinar to review…

Read More

Impending changes to Nova Scotia’s Workers’ Compensation Act – Gradual onset stress

June 4, 2024

By Mark Tector and Annie Gray What’s changing? Currently, workers’ compensation coverage in Nova Scotia applies to only a narrow subset of psychological injuries. Specifically, in Nova Scotia – as in all Atlantic Provinces –…

Read More

Appeal Courts uphold substantial costs awards for regulators

May 22, 2024

By Sean Kelly & Michiko Gartshore Professional regulators can incur substantial costs through discipline processes. These costs are often associated with investigations, hearings as well as committee member expenses and are an unfortunate by-product of…

Read More

Less than two weeks to go … Canada Supply Chain Transparency Reports are due May 31st

May 21, 2024

By Christine Pound, ICD.D., Twila Reid, ICD.D., Sarah Dever Letson, CIPP/C, Sheila Mecking, Hilary Newman, and Daniel Roth Introduction The first reports under the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act (the…

Read More

Court upheld municipality’s refusal to disclose investigation report

May 1, 2024

By Sheila Mecking and Sarah Dever Letson A recent decision out of the Court of King’s Bench of New Brunswick,[1] upheld the Municipality of Tantramar’s decision to withhold a Workplace Assessment Report under section 20(1)…

Read More

Search Archive


Scroll To Top