COVID-19: Legal Obligations Around Childcare Accommodation

  • October 30, 2020
  • Priya Sarin and Matthew Badrov, Sherrard Kuzz LLP

When the Canadian economy “shut down” in March 2020, so, too, did schools and daycares across the country. As a result, many employees found themselves working from home and providing childcare at the same time. As provincial economies reopen and employers encourage employees to return to the physical workplace, the issue of childcare remains as schools, daycares and camps are closed or operating at reduced capacity. Even in jurisdictions in which daycare or camps have reopened or will reopen imminently, some parents may wish to keep their children at home due to fear of exposure to COVID-19. In these circumstances, the question we have been asked is: What are an employer’s legal obligations to accommodate a request for time off, to continue a work-from-home arrangement or to agree to some other arrangement?