Toronto sets January date for city workers to return to the office, amid rising COVID-19 cases, Omicron uncertainty over its future and $50-million COVID-19 relief bill
By Peter Greste
2 March 2020
Omicron Technology, Toronto’s largest IT services provider and a key employer in Canada’s largest city, announced on Facebook late Monday it would be shutting down its entire operations by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 15, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement issued on the company’s website, Omicron Chief Executive Michael MacIsaac said the company “had been operating with limited staff and resources for some time,” making it “unlikely that we can operate our business as long as necessary to meet the needs of our employees to be successful at this challenging time.” The company has more than 6,000 employees across Canada, with more than 600 in Toronto alone.
MacIsaac says the decision was taken “with full knowledge that it would be difficult to return to the office on our first day back,” though the company has said that employees will be paid for the first two weeks of their salary and be reimbursed for any missed holiday or sick time. The company says it will try to keep the news quiet for as long as possible and is seeking to avoid “drama.”
Meanwhile, the City of Toronto on March 1, 2020, announced new guidelines for Toronto Public Health to contain the spread of COVID-19. The guidelines state that all city workers who have not tested positive for COVID-19, and who have not been sick in the previous 14 days, will return to their jobs at the start of April and be paid for the first 28 days of their salary, without regard to the pandemic or the city’s own payroll system.
Toronto Public Health also extended the work suspensions for Toronto Public Health employees who have had COVID-19, and extended the COVID-19 work suspensions for members of Toronto Public Health board and executive positions until April 15, 2020,