March 24, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Will you come back to the office? Not so fast, public health suggests

Will you come back to the office?  Not so fast, public health suggests

Public health suggests that companies preparing to recall their employees to the office should change their mind and wait as an increase in Kovid-19 cases is seen. Legalt relies on companies when the government uses the vaccine passport with their employees. All of these raise a lot of questions.

Julian Arsenalt

Julian Arsenalt

Referring to the fourth wave and the “mark presence” of the Delta variant, which currently represents more than half of the infection cases, the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) on Wednesday “expected to be more careful.”

In addition, the last three waves, most of the amplitude, occurred in the office. Since the next few weeks will be marked by the start of the school year and an increase in contacts, it is advisable for employers to play safe, according to Public Health.

The situation will be re-assessed in October. For 60,000 public service employees, the September 7 deadline has been postponed to October 4. In business centers, part of the revival of urban centers was caused by the return of workers to office towers, causing confusion over the recommendation of public health.

Photo by Robert Skinner, Press Archives

Véronique Proulx, President and CEO of Quebec Manufacturers and Exporters

M.To me Proulx invited Quebec to give more details and to allow deductions for workers who had been adequately vaccinated.

Michael LeBlanc, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce’s Metropolitan Montreal, was also shocked by the MSSS press release. In a telephone interview, he wondered how we could allow people with two doses of vaccine to go to a restaurant or bar while workers were delaying their return to the office.

“There is something embarrassing about the public health statement that was not taken into account [gens adéquatement] Vaccinated, “he said.

As Quebec went to the Green Alert level in late June, it will be possible to make a gradual return to work in the public sector, as in the private sector, even if teleworking is recommended. Since the onus is on the employer to return to the office, most companies are left with a headache.

Photo by David Boyle, Press

For companies, the imposition of a vaccine passport and other evidence of the vaccine can be interpreted as an invasion of confidentiality, emphasizing the Associate Attorney in Labor and Employment Act.

Some companies have already decided to delay the return of their employees. In the case of National Bank, it is expected that the proportion of employees in the office will increase from 10% to 30%.

“We expect gradual employee hybrid returns from September 7,” President and CEO Louis Wachon explained in an interview. Tap. Last Thursday, we announced that this return had been postponed until October 14th. After returning to class we allow four weeks to pass for a better idea of ​​the Delta variant effect. ”

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Passport in companies?

Mr LeBlanc said he was reassured by Prime Minister Franois Legalt’s remarks, which were based on employers’ responsibility, when asked if a vaccine passport was required, while attending a Council of Ministers meeting.

“Public health recommends staying on the telework,” he explained. But for those who want to come back or for the efficiency of the organization of their business, the owner decides how it works. ”

For his part, Labor Minister Jean Boulette reiterated that Quebec had no intention of “interfering with the employer’s management rights.”

Photo by Marco Campanozi, Archives the Press

Michelle LeBlanc, President and CEO of the Montreal Montreal Chamber of Commerce

What we now understand is that employers can use the vaccination passport to ask employees if they have been vaccinated and to determine who can return. [au bureau].

Michelle LeBlanc, President and CEO of the Montreal Montreal Chamber of Commerce

The imposition of a vaccine passport and other evidence of the vaccine can sometimes be interpreted as an invasion of privacy, sometimes as an attack on human rights and freedoms. There is “ambiguity” identified by Associate attorney Ann Bernard in labor and employment law at the Langlois Avocats organization.

“When the government sends all this back to the owners, there are many opportunities that could lead to various legal decisions,” he explained. An employer’s decisions are more likely to pass a court examination. ”

At the Quebec Employers’ Council, President and CEO Carl Blackburn welcomed the public health view with “clarity” and its members respected the recommendations.

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According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, late returns to office towers are bad news for many members of the association – those who rely on football in town centers.

“This is not news that will spark excitement among downtown merchants,” said Franయిois Vincent, its Quebec vice president. For some entrepreneurs, they consider it Ground‌Hog Day. ”

With Richard Dufour, Tommy Chaunard and Funny Lowesque, Tap