Toronto sets January date for city workers to return to the office, amid rising COVID-19 cases, Omicron uncertainty
City employees should return to the office beginning Monday – three weeks sooner than scheduled – following the federal government’s decision to lift the COVID-19 public health emergency, with the expectation that other regions of Canada will follow suit. Toronto, meanwhile, will set a date of January 19 for everyone to return to the office. Read the full plan below.
City staff will resume Monday as scheduled after the federal government lifted Canada’s public health emergency related to COVID-19 on Friday, May 22. The move will allow more time for employees to adjust to working conditions that were made significantly different from their personal homes in anticipation of COVID-19, and for some to go back to the office for the first time. City employees are also required to return to the office by Monday, May 29.
At this time, the exact return to work dates remain subject to change at the discretion of city staff. However, staff have indicated they will consider reallocating employees as other regions of Canada release guidelines related to office closures.
“We recognize and appreciate the unique challenges facing many municipalities and are committed to supporting our employees as they work through these changes,” said City of Toronto spokesperson Jennifer Keesmaat. “For that reason, staff will begin to work through the process of adjusting to their return to work dates as soon as it is appropriate.”
While the new return to work dates are flexible, the city expects to begin to gradually reallocate staff as other jurisdictions implement mandatory office closures.
“The reallocation of staff will take place as soon as is possible and we expect to be able to meet the needs of the individual employees that are affected,” Keesmaat said.
City employee work hours cut in the aftermath of COVID-19 public health emergency, as the pandemic hits most sectors
On May 21, federal officials declared a public health emergency following COVID-19’s rapid global spread, with an initial focus on vulnerable groups, including people in long-term care facilities, as well as people living with disabilities (LWD).
The day after the declaration, Toronto’s Chief