Nearest broker: Searching for a broker nearby…
Nearest broker: 322 Avenue C S, Saskatoon, SK, S7M 1N4 Phone: 639-398-4170 10325 Bonaventure Dr SE, Calgary, AB, T2J 7E4 Phone: 403-695-1050 5115 48 Ave, Taber, AB, T1G 1S9 Phone: 403-223-2377 110a McLeod Ave, Spruce Grove, AB, T7X 2H8 Phone: 780-571-1144 496 Marquis Rd, Prince Albert, SK, S6V 8B3 Phone: 306-970-8080 335 Hwy Avenue N, Picture Butte, AB, T0K 1V0 Phone: 403-394-1123 103-5020 Lac St Anne Trail S, Onoway, AB, T0E 1V0 Phone: 780-967-2282 2201 Box Springs Blvd NW, Medicine Hat, AB, T1C 0C8 Phone: 403-487-5132 550 Wt Hill Blvd S, Lethbridge, AB, T1J 4Z8 Phone: 403-394-1123 734 13 St N, Lethbridge, AB, T1H 2T1 Phone: 403-328-9114 5 St SE, High River, AB Phone: 403-652-4104 9901 103 St, Fort Saskatchewan, AB, T8L 2C8 Phone: 780-998-0881 , Edson, AB, T7E 1T6 Phone: 780-440-0075 9006 132 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB, T5E 0Y2 Phone: 780-476-6390 16612 109 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB, T5P 1C2 Phone: 780-486-4488 , Edmonton, AB, T5P 1C2 Phone: 780-990-9054 201-4271 23 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB, T6L 5Z8 Phone: 780-466-2136 3448 93 St NW, Edmonton, AB, T6E 6A4 Phone: 780-465-6900 216-6203 28 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB, T6L 6K3 Phone: 780-761-2200 8170 50 St NW, Edmonton, AB, T6B 1E6 Phone: 780-469-9378 52 Ave, Drayton Valley, AB Phone: 780-621-1707 , Calgary, AB, T2Z 3S4 Phone: 403-453-0201 , Calgary, AB Phone: 403-532-4882 , Calgary, AB Phone: 587-617-6677 10325 Bonaventure Dr SE, Calgary, AB, T2J 7E4 Phone: 403-278-1050 1331 Macleod Trail SE, Calgary, AB, T2G 0K3 Phone: 403-278-1050 10325 Bonaventure Dr SE, Calgary, AB, T2J 7E4 Phone: 403-255-2252 234-7 Westwinds Crescent NE, Calgary, AB, T3J 5H2 Phone: 403-775-2100 , Calgary, AB, T3K 0S8 Phone: 403-719-9995 4632 70 St NW, Calgary, AB, T3B 2K6 Phone: 403-247-6435 5114 2 St, Boyle, AB, T0A 0M0 Phone: 780-689-3946 50 Ave, Bonnyville, AB Phone: 780-826-3147 12931 20 Ave, , AB, T0K 0E0 Phone: 403-562-2191 2903 Kingsview Blvd SE, Airdrie, AB, T4A 0C4 Phone: 403-945-8885

COVID-19: Protecting Your Business & People

Home Insurance

By Samantha Lemna | March 20, 2020

According to the Harvard Business Review, an increasing number of employees continue to work when they are sick. This situation ends up costing employers about $150 billion to $250 billion or 60 percent of the total cost of worker illness. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen many restrictions on movement and business operations in order to slow the spread of the disease. While these steps are necessary to keep people safe, businesses are experiencing unprecedented interruptions. This article can help you determine the impact to your business and begin navigating through this difficult time.

 

COVID-19 Business Disruption

With social distancing and quarantine measures in effect across Canada, it is essential that every business plan for disruption due to COVID-19. 

 

The tolerance for employee absence is unique to each organization but it is important that an organization identify what percentage of absent employees would create a significant disruption to business operations and plan accordingly. 

 

Questions executives should ask include:

  • Would the business function with a loss of 30% or greater of their employees?
  • If the entire business operates out of one location, how will a regional, national or global health crisis disrupt operations?

 

Find the solutions to these questions to minimize business disruption.

 

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Coronavirus, influenza, and other illnesses spread through close contact with an infected person (standing within six feet) or through contact with contaminated surfaces. While it may be difficult to control the transmission of the virus, there are steps an employer can take to maintain a healthy environment:

 

  • Encourage employees to stay home if they are sick
    • Ask them to return to the office only after they are free from symptoms for at least 48 hours
    • For diagnosed COVID-19, this includes two negative tests after the illness
  • As much as possible, have employees work from home
  • Keep surfaces clean
  • Minimize group meetings to reduce the potential for transmission. Use video calls instead. If in-person meetings are necessary, ensure that a distance of 6 feet is maintained and that there is appropriate air circulation.
  • Encourage good hygiene. Post signs in bathrooms to remind employees and others to wash their hands with soap and water. Include a sign of the World Health Organization’s hand-washing best practices
  • Place additional tissue boxes and garbage cans where employees congregate, such as break rooms, lunch areas, or collaboration spaces. 
  • Provide hand sanitizer and wipes for employees, particularly near doors, printers, and other points of high touch contact. 
  • Encourage employees to get a flu shot. While there is no vaccine for COVID-19, you can still help prevent other illnesses. Offer the shot for free at the office or allow time for employees to get one at a pharmacy or doctor’s office. 
  • For more info on managing flu outbreaks, please visit the Government of Canada’s Public Health page. For more information on managing the COVID-19 outbreak in your workplace, visit the Government of Canada’s Coronavirus page.

Follow recommendations from local public health officials always – this saves lives.

Create a Plan to Ensure Business Continuity

While the best time to create a business continuity plan is well in advance of a crisis, there are steps that you can take now to prepare for the worst.

 

Start by identifying which organizational processes will be most affected by a disruptive event. Anticipate the types of disruption that pose the greatest risk, and proactively implement policies and procedures to mitigate their effects. Follow these essential steps to create the foundation for a Business Continuity Plan:

  • Conduct a thorough risk assessment to identify critical processes and function that would be impacted during a business disruption.
  • Identify compliance requirements.
  • Identify essential employees to deliver critical processes and functions.
  • Determine the agility of the workforce and what resources may be needed during a disruption.
  • Review policy to encourage sick or unwell employees to work remotely or isolated from other employees. 
  • Review policy to encourage sick or unwell employees to work remotely or isolated from other employees.
  • Review work from home policy for as many employees as possible.
  • Align business travel with government mandated travel restrictions.
  • Discuss protocol for safe evacuation or quarantine of employees who are travelling or recently returned from travelling. 
  • Define internal and external stakeholders for conveying communication
  • Develop strategies and vetted holding statements to communicate with employees, customers, consumers and the media.
  • Review supplier service level agreements to consequences for not abiding by contracts.
  • Review supplier business continuity plans to determine whether they align with your business expectations.
  • Define the capabilities of the upstream supply chain to determine their capability to provide your business with what it needs during a disruption.
  • Consider increasing inventory to extend operations if the upstream supplier is not capable of delivering needed goods.
  • Define the capabilities of the downstream supply chain to assess the impact to your customers if operations are no longer feasible at a normal capacity.
  • Communicate business decisions to appropriate audiences.
  • Train response team members on responsibilities during a disruption. 
  • Test the Business Continuity Plan by conducting tabletop exercises.

 

Maintain Employee Safety

Every organization has a duty to protect the health and safety of its employees. That duty is even greater during a critical event involving infectious disease. OSHA recommends taking a systematic approach to planning for employee safety during a disruptive event. 

 

Issues to consider and plan for:

  • Be aware of and review federal, provincial, and municipal health department recommendations, and integrate into your plan.
  • Prepare and plan for operations with a reduced workforce.
  • Identify possible exposures and health risks to your employees.
  • Plan for downsizing services but also anticipate any scenario which may require a surge in services.
  • Recognize that in the course of normal daily life, all employees will have non-occupational risk factors at home and in community settings.
  • Stockpile items such as soap, tissue, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, & recommended PPE.
  • Provide employees and customers with easy access to infection control supplies.
  • Develop policies and practices that, if necessary, can be introduced to separate employees from each other, customers, and the general public.
  • Identify a team to serve as a communication resource so that employees and customers have access to accurate information throughout the crisis.
  • Work with employees and their union(s) to address leave, pay, transportation, childcare, absence, and other human resource issues.
  • Provide training, education, and informational material about business-essential job functions and employee health and safety.
  • Work with your insurance company, and provincial and municipal health agencies to provide accurate information to employees and customers regarding medical information specific to the event.
  • Assist employees in managing additional stressors (i.e. Employee Assistance Program – EAP). 

Again, make sure you follow any recommendations from your local public health officials.

Coronavirus Precaution and Workers’ Compensation Claims

Whether an employee contracted the coronavirus while working abroad, or in the office from another employee, workers’ compensation claims could possibly be filed. 

The question remains: Can a business be liable if an employee tests positive for coronavirus, or causes it to spread? The answer is likely yes. Consider the following scenarios in which an employer could file a worker’s compensation (WC) claim due to coronavirus:

  • An employee is working overseas and contracts the coronavirus.
  • An employee contracts the coronavirus and infects others at the office.
  • What if an employee unknowingly infects their spouse and children? 

WC policies typically cover lost time, permanent disability, medical expenses and a death benefit in these scenarios. 

 

Self-Assessment Checklist

This is a simple 10 minute business continuity self-assessment based on a disease outbreak. The aim of the assessment is to highlight issues you need to consider to prepare for a disease outbreak that may disrupt your organization.

Self-Assessment Checklist

Get A Quote From A-WIN

Get the best insurance deals and stay on budget.

Get A Quote

Life Events - It's Time to Reassess Your Insurance

Whether it’s heading off to university or deciding to start your own business,...

Download