What does the November 7th Public Health Order mean for BC Workplaces?

This weekend’s news and Order from BC Public Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has an impact on employers and workers in BC. It is time to revisit our Covid Safety Plans.

Covid Safety Plans

Every employer in BC should have a written Covid Safety Plan. Covid Safety Plans have been required by WorkSafe BC since early in the pandemic and there are some really helpful tools and templates on the WorkSafe BC website.

A Covid Safety Plan outlines the policies, guidelines, and procedures put in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission at work. Plans are not “one-and-done” but need to be revisited periodically. With this weekend’s new health order, employers must review and may need to update their plans. Need help with a Covid Safety Plan? Contact WorkSafe BC, your HR Professional or an employment lawyer. We have helped many businesses put together plans.

November 7th Public Health Order

The Order is available online here and is in effect until November 23, 2020 at 12:00 PM.  Effective immediately, employers are required do to the following:

  1. Conduct active daily in-person screening of all onsite workers using the Covid symptom checklist.
  2. Ensure that all workers and customers maintain appropriate physical distance and wear masks where appropriate.
  3. Take extra care in small office spaces, break rooms and kitchens.

In her press conference on Saturday, Dr. Henry also recommended that employers encourage remote work where possible, although this is not included in the written Order.

Work-Related Travel

Travel, including business travel, is another activity impacted by the Order. Travel in and out of the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley is limited to essential travel only.  There is no detail provided about what travel is essential, but there is a list of essential services online here.

We will get through this together and as always, be kind, be calm, be safe.

This blog is not intended to serve as legal advice, and only provides general information.

Every situation must be considered on its own facts. Need legal advice? Contact us by phone at 604 535-7063 or email [email protected].

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