The Government of Alberta has imposed a mandatory work-from-home restriction unless the employer requires an employee’s physical presence for operational effectiveness. This will come into force on December 13th.

While construction is deemed an essential service, the government has clarified that this does not mean office staff are necessarily exempt from this requirement.

We are not aware of any firm definition for ‘operational effectiveness’ at this time but assume it could require employers to provide sound rationale as to why an employee(s) cannot perform their duties while working from home.

General recommendations include:

  • Prepare documentation and supporting information that outlines rationale for any employees required to remain in the office. Keep this on-hand in the event you are contacted by Alberta Health Services.
  • Prepare a COVID safety plan for staff that remain in office and keep it on-hand.
  • Remaining staff will be required to wear a mask except when they are alone in a cubicle or office.

We continue to monitor this item closely and seek further clarification from Alberta Health Services.