Nova Scotia's premier says all employers are required to follow provincial orders on social distancing.
Premier Stephen McNeil says employers need to take the appropriate steps to keep their employees safe. Yesterday, the province announced 13 new cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, bringing the total number to 41.
The province has already imposed a number of public health and safety measures, including declaring a state of emergency which requires people to social distance themselves and to gather in groups no larger than five.
Premier McNeil says that also applies to employers.
"Every operation is required to follow Doctor Strang's order of self distancing, six feet, or two metres between each employee," says McNeil. "Those orders are not negotiable, quite frankly, they need to continue to make sure [of that distance.]"
This is not optional for employers, it is absolutely mandatory.
"It's incumbent on employers to ensure you keep your workforce healthy, if that means you change the way you've done business, double shifting, reducing half coming in the morning, half coming in the afternoon, you need to take the appropriate steps," says McNeil. "The onus is on the owner to ensure that they are providing the appropriate workplace for their employees that meet the health standards."
Speaking at yesterday's update, McNeil emphasized how much people need to work together.
"This is a frightening virus, it is, as we've seen what's happening globally, so the feelings that people are having are real, and all of us need to spend a lot of time listening to what each of us are telling each other, and finding the proper solutions for them," says McNeil.
McNeil adds it is also important that employers remain mindful of employees who may not be comfortable with their work conditions during this trying time.