‘We know that the best and safest place for our workers and their children is at home’
New Brunswick has shut down all non-essential government services, as of March 17.
“We are taking action to implement the recommendations we have received from the experts,” says Premier Blaine Higgs. “We know that the best and safest place for our workers and their children is at home.”
The recommendation came from Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, who says that the government should focus its efforts on providing critical services and all employees should work from home wherever feasible.
Only public-sector workers who work in critical functions or areas that support critical functions will remain on the job. They may work on site or from home, depending on the nature of their job.
Workers sent home will remain on the payroll, and they are required to remain on standby should they be needed to help in critical service areas, either because critical staff are sick or because additional staff is needed, says Higgs.
“We continue to ask New Brunswickers to come together and support one another,” he says. “Families, neighbours and friends who are not in high-risk categories are encouraged to work together to ensure child care options are available for our essential services workers.”
New Brunswick also said that essential service workers can still obtain child care services.
“This response plan is critical to ensuring our essential service workers can continue to serve New Brunswickers in the coming days and weeks,” says Dominic Cardy, minister of education and early childhood development. “We continue to encourage everyone who is not high-risk to support their friends, families and neighbours by coming together to care for our children and youth.”
Facilities remaining open to support essential service workers will follow the advice set out by the chief medical officer, including reduced group sizes and social distancing, and will continue to follow strict health and safety directives.
Shopify, Google, Twitter and Microsoft have all asked their employees to work from home amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.