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But What Do I Do If They Want To Stay Home?

This week, TraveLaw Online continues to answer travel agents’ questions about the workplace and the responsibilities of both the employer and the employee during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, travel law experts, Doug Crozier and Tim Law of Heifetz, Crozier, Law respond to a question about working from home.

Q: All of our Agency’s staff are now working from home.  About half of them like it, and the other half don’t.  I’m looking forward to getting everyone back to the office and increasing our productivity, but wonder if those that are liking the forced work-from-home routine won’t want to come back. If that happens, what can I do?

A: You can assert your right as an employer to insist on a return to the office, once the stay-at-home order is lifted.  In fact, you should make it clear now that this is the expectation, once the “all clear” is sounded.

From your employees’ point of view, they can insist on working from home after you call them back to the office only if (a) working from home is a term of the existing employment contract, or (b) you allow them to continue to work from home, without enforcing your rights to have them return to the office, for such a period of time after it is no longer necessary that it becomes a term of that contract, or (c) you are not able to provide at the office a safe workplace environment, or (d) this is the best option available in order to fulfil your legal obligation to accommodate a specific employee’s disabilities.

If you have a question, you can contact Crozier or Law at info@hclaw.com or connect with Bob Mowat at Canadian Travel Press/Baxter Media at bobmowat@baxter.net.

Heifetz, Crozier, Law is a Toronto law firm that has for years represented all aspects of the Canadian travel industry. The lawyers at HCL also maintain a non-travel practice, covering litigation, real estate, Wills, corporate/commercial matters, etc. To contact HCL, e-mail info@hclaw.com.

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