COVID-19 Assessment Tool – Part of Cautious RTW Strategy
As Canadian businesses are permitted to gradually open over the next several weeks, it will be important for employers to track and manage reports of employee illness and disability. Employees who are ill or symptomatic should not be allowed to return to the workplace. Additionally, where employees have returned to work and subsequently report that they are ill, this will need to be managed with a key focus being to determine if the employee is symptomatic for COVID-19; and if so, whom the employees may have been in contact with at the workplace.
Employees in the workplace who are contagious can spread the infection. Employees who are infected in the workplace, either by other employees or clients, and have become symptomatic or ill as a result of such exposures may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, all workplace exposures need to be reported to the respective public health department as well as the relevant WCB jurisdiction.
One tool that we believe will help workers and employers during the reopening phase is the COVID-19 Self Assessment developed by the Province of Ontario. The Self-Assessment is easy to use and provides recommendations based on the information provided by the user regarding their particular circumstances – including symptoms, travel history, exposure potential, etc.
The tool is designed to provide guidance to people who believe that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and who are concerned about health symptoms that may be related to an exposure. While the tool does not provide RTW guidance per se, we believe it can form part of an effective approach to managing employees who are returning to work or who have developed health-related concerns since returning to work.